dinsdag 9 augustus 2005

We zijn weer thuis

En de Discovery ook. Hieronder een uittreksel uit de verslaglegging van de landing van dat ding. Met name het laatste haf uur is interessant. Hoe de vliegende baksteen van ruim 400 km hoogte met een snelheid van meer dan 30.000 km per uur afremt tot bijna nul op hoogte bijna nul...

NASA - Live Landing Coverage:
Today's official landing time was 8:11:22 a.m. EDT.

8:13 a.m. - Wheels stop. "Happy to be back," Collins said to Capcom Ken Ham after he offered congratulations.

8:12 a.m. - Touchdown! Discovery is rolling out on runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base!

8:10 a.m. - Commander Eileen Collins reports she has the runway in sight! Discovery's altitude is 17,000 feet -- 10 miles to touchdown.

8:04 a.m. - This will be the 50th landing of a Space Shuttle at Edwards Air Force Base. Eight minutes, 135 miles to touchdown.

7:59 a.m. - 470 miles to touchdown, speed 7,400 miles per hour. Discovery is banking back to the left, the third in a series of four steep rolls to help dissipate speed as it heads for touchdown.

7:56 a.m. - Traveling 17 times the speed of sound, Discovery is within 1,000 miles of the runway at Edwards Air Force Base.

7:52 a.m. - In its first of three roll reversals, Discovery is banking back to the right with its wings angled 75 degrees to horizontal. Discovery's current speed is 14,000 miles per hour at an altitude of 217,000 feet.

7:50 a.m. - Discovery is traveling 15,400 miles per hour at 230,000 feet. About 2,000 miles to Edwards.

7:43 a.m. - Altitude 56 miles. Discovery is traveling 17,000 miles per hour and is less than 4,000 miles from Edwards Air Force Base.

7:40 a.m. - Now flying almost 400,000 feet above the Cook Islands in the South Pacific, Discovery is just beginning to encounter the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere.

7:25 a.m. - Fifteen minutes until Entry Interface, when Discovery begins to feel the effects of Earth's atmosphere. Discovery's altitude is 175 miles as it continues its descent.

7:17 a.m. - Current altitude is 213 statute miles.

7:12 a.m. - Over the next 30 minutes, Discovery will free-fall until it reaches Entry Interface, about 75 miles over the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. Current altitude is 220 statute miles. Post burn procedures are in work. Touchdown is one hour away.

7:09 a.m. - Burn complete! Mission Control reports a good deorbit burn -- no trim required. Expect Entry Interface at about 7:40 a.m. and landing at 8:12 a.m.

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