Discovery landing completes risky mission - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Discovery landing completes risky mission

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER - The space shuttle Discovery is back home, after a 15-day mission to the international space station. The construction and repair mission was among the most challenging in shuttle history.

During the visit, the seven shuttle astronauts and three residents of the space station teamed up to save a mangled solar wing, in one of the most difficult and dangerous repairs ever attempted in orbit. The future of the space station was riding on it.

As the shuttle rolled to a stop Wednesday in Florida, Mission Control radioed to Commander Pamela Melroy, Congratulations on a tremendous mission and a great landing." She replied that it's "nice to be back in Florida."

Before touching down, the shuttle crossed the continent, in the first coast-to-coast re-entry since the Columbia disaster nearly five years ago.

There had been double inspections of the shuttle's wings in orbit to confirm that the thermal shielding would hold up to the heat of re-entry.

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