ESA congratulates NASA on the safe landing of Discovery
Space Shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base in California at 14:12 CEST today.
Full details are available at: http://www.nasa.gov/returntoflight.
Discovery returned to Earth after a 9-day stay at the International Space Station. STS-114 is the first Shuttle mission to fly since the loss of Columbia and the STS-107 crew during re-entry on 1 February 2003.
Rain showers over Kennedy Space Center delayed re-entry yesterday and prevented the Shuttle from landing during today's first and second opportunities in Florida.
One of Discovery's tasks was to deliver important supplies and equipment to the orbital outpost. Equipment taken to the Station inside the Multi Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) included the European-built Pulmonary Function System (PFS), which is housed in the Human Research Facility #2 rack. The rack has now been installed in the US Destiny Laboratory.
While in orbit, the STS-114 crewmembers successfully conducted three spacewalks at the Station. They demonstrated new methods to inspect and repair the Shuttle's thermal protection system.
During the mission's third spacewalk, they performed the first-ever on-orbit repair of the Shuttle's heat shield. The STS-114 crew also performed repair and assembly work the Station's exterior including the installation of an external platform and the replacement of one of the gyroscopes that helps control the orientation of the Station.