Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
NASA Space Science

Shuttle Discovery Lands Safely 668

Tuxedo Jack writes "CNN and NASA report that the space shuttle Discovery has landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Concerns for its safe return were raised when spacewalks were necessary to repair the vehicle when external components were damaged; however, the shuttle landed safely with Commander Eileen Collins at the control yoke."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Shuttle Discovery Lands Safely

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @09:13AM (#13277683)
    Thats good news but what about the future of the shuttles, given all the problems?
  • Tiles... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aztec1430 ( 242755 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @09:14AM (#13277698)
    It'll be interesting to see what damage has ocurred...

    If the damaged areas they noticed in orbit, are worse after re-entry...

  • Future missions... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by theantipop ( 803016 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @09:15AM (#13277704)
    I hope safe returns in the future aren't news but instead are commonplace. Hopefully NASA's shift in ideology regarding spacecraft design will usher in a new era in incident free missions.
  • Excellent work (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ReformedExCon ( 897248 ) <> on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @09:17AM (#13277724)
    But after having done this since 1961, you'd think that we'd be at a point where getting "those brave souls" back to Earth in one piece was mundane.

    Though it would be wonderful to have the space program re-examined and reformulated with realistic goals, unencumbered designs, and brave (not foolhardy) leadership, I doubt that we'll get anything more than another round of shuttle flights until the next one breaks up. Then we can expect more hand wringing, indecisiveness, and basically a whole lot more of nothing.

    Space is the biggest challenge Mankind will ever embark upon. It's sad to see that almost 45 years has passed and we're still crossing our fingers hoping that things go okay.
  • Re:Tiles... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Deinhard ( 644412 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @09:18AM (#13277730)
    There was a lengthy discussion about that this morning. Every shuttle is damaged in one way or another but until this trip, when they scanned every inch of the orbiter, they couldn't tell if the damage came from launch, orbit or reentry.

    This new data will prove invaluable not only for the remaining shuttle flights, but also for the replacement vehicle.
  • by TobyWong ( 168498 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @09:27AM (#13277827)
    I was going to crack a woman driver joke too then I realized in all likelyhood she has more driving/flying ability in her baby finger than I ever will have... =(

  • Media frenzy (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pmdata ( 861264 ) * on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @09:32AM (#13277858)
    Thankfully the media "Deathwatch" comes to an end. Ever get the feeling that they are hoping for disasters to happen? They are.
  • by DragonHawk ( 21256 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @09:32AM (#13277861) Homepage Journal
    "But after having done this since 1961, you'd think that we'd be at a point where getting "those brave souls" back to Earth in one piece was mundane."

    While I agree with the rest of your comment, it's worth pointing out that 45 years is a drastically short period of time in human history. How long did we sail the seas before trans-oceanic travel stopped being experimental and perilous? We're so used to the incredibly fast pace of recent technological advancement that we forget that not everything comes quick. Expecting spaceflight to have become mundane in so short a time may not be reasonable.
  • Re:Waste (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cat_Byte ( 621676 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @09:33AM (#13277874) Journal
    Great idea. We'll stop the space program, let all the satellites fall out of the sky, do without phones, tv, weather forecasts, etc and send the 200 million to some dictator who keeps it all for himself and the people still starve. Shuttle launches aren't a waste IMO. The ISS is a huge waste though. We would be better off with one outside of LEO or between the earth and the moon.
  • Re:Why bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darth Maul ( 19860 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @09:45AM (#13277949) Homepage

    They weren't just trying to fix ONE problem for two years. Seriously.

    Can't you just put aside your cynical nature for ten freakin minutes and actually be excited about the fact that humans were just in space for two weeks in a vehicle we built? Come on!

    What's WRONG with people these days?
  • by Mr. Slippery ( 47854 ) <> on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @09:46AM (#13277958) Homepage
    Finally, we have reached a point where no one gives a shit about equality of the sexes questions.

    While it's wonderful (and well past due) that the professionals in the space program don't care about the gender of their colleagues, women still suffer plenty of discrimination in the workplace, are underpaid relative to men doing the same job with the same experience, and are still threatened with religious wackos cutting off access to healthcare services. Women are still underrepresented in the top levels of government and industry.

    Much progress has been made, no doubt of that, but much work remains.

  • Re:Waste (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThosLives ( 686517 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @09:47AM (#13277966) Journal
    What about the public spending hundreds of millions - no, tens of billions - of dollars to watch movies, play video games, or watch sports?

    I'd say that the space program is much less of a "waste" of money than the things on which the general public spends its money on its own.

  • Re:Waste (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @09:58AM (#13278061)
    Going along with your point, It will be all but impossible to feed everyone on Earth until you rid the earth of its most common (It Seems) element: Greed. The Earth already produces enough food to feed every man, woman, and child, but when it rots in the ships because governments don't want to give it away, it does (obviously) no good. In fact, the US produces so much extra grain that we could make enough ethanol to subsitute about 36 million barrels of oil each year!

    So the next time you try to say: "Oh! All that money being wasted, and all those starving people!!" Realize, there no amount of money that will quench humanity's greed.

    my $.02
  • Re:Waste (Score:3, Insightful)

    by GaryPatterson ( 852699 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @10:17AM (#13278260)
    With the state of the world, it's immoral to *not* go into space.

    Or is there going to be a better solution for increasing the planet's finite resources that I just don't see?

    Sadly, there will always be starving people. My very loose 'proof' of that is the fact that we can, right now, solve pretty much all hunger and most disease problems around the planet, but we don't. The way already exists, if we have the will to travel along it.

    The fact that we prefer instead to start or fight wars, to spend vast sums on personal entertainment and to do other frivolous things indicates to me that solving other people's issues is just not important to Humans.

    By expanding outwards, we create wealth by making use of new resources unavailable to us now. It doesn't work so well here on Earth, as we've already covered the planet quite thoroughly, and when we expand our territory, we do it at someone else's expense.

    The move to space is not only justifiable and morally defensible, it makes economic sense.

    We have to do it, and we have to do it now.
  • by DenDave ( 700621 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @10:41AM (#13278523)
    I would imagine she'd be insulted by the insinuation that she was chosen for the job for anything else but her capabilities.

    There is no significance, she flew the disco because she could.

  • Re:Waste (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @10:51AM (#13278608)
    Why colonize space? To ensure the survival of our DNA. Having the entire expression of the human genome on one planet, that is susceptible to meteors, possible nuclear devastation, ice-age or warming events, etc., is not a smart idea in the long run. You obviously aren't even thinking hundreds or thousands of years in the future.

    Creating a self-sufficient colony on Mars is certainly possible, if you were familiar with the research that would be obvious. Especially with long term (thousands plus) years of terraforming.

    Do you think that humans will never have to start looking at other options besides living on the Earth? Are you a rational person? As technology advances and the population grows, space colonization will no doubt be entirely feasible.

    Are you so short-sighted that you can't see the inevitable future? Purely through gene modification and eventual transhuman experimentation we could have Mars-ready "humans" ready to deal with the conditions.

    Over thousands of years, space colonization will be a massive endeavor. Spending a paltry amount of billions getting started on the program is nothing.
  • by DroopyStonx ( 683090 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @11:06AM (#13278744)
    Yeah, just look at the female presidents we've had!
  • Editorial question (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lawrence_Bird ( 67278 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @11:29AM (#13278987) Homepage
    I guess this is off topic in one sense but not in that it
    applies to this /. post.   But I'm curious how the editors
    see something like 'shuttle has landed' as something that
    belongs? I mean come on..

    CNN/FOX/MSNBC/CBS/ABC/NBC/BBC/SKY/AP/ and any other tv/wire
    service had this the moment it happened.  Perhaps if there
    was some value added to the post it would be relevant but I
    just don't get it when the editors put up stories that are
    simply statements of the obvious from an extremely well
    reported event.

  • by Chaotic Spyder ( 896445 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @11:59AM (#13279278) Homepage
    You are ridiculous.. That's what you are... why on earth would you post something so stupid like that... I mean I just read a fantastic post &cid=13277893 [] about how equal rights and sexism is slowly being abolished. And you have to come back with a fuckin feminist bullish reply

    Your old.. yepp good for you... you can program.. yupp good for you.. I'm sick of reading about women that can do shit and think it's fantastic enough to tell the world..
    "Hey Look at me.. I'm a woman and I can do this just like you men do"

    WHAT THE HELL.... Think about that....... the fact that you say that in the first place and try to prove equality simply puts everything back and assumes inequality...
    The reason people make jokes like the parent of this whole thread is because of crackpots like you who get their panties in a knot and try to prove to the world that you can do it...

    Why not just do a good job and shut the fuck up...

    Way to go Collins for doing just that... doing her best.. becoming the best and fuckin refusing to take the bate with the sexes bullshit...
    maybe one day you can do the same...

    You Sicken me....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @12:05PM (#13279332)
    You're reading too much into that article. The Space Shuttle is fully automated for 99% of the reentry and landing. The only time that control is given back to the pilot is when it's time to deploy the landing gear. The reason why this phase is manual is so that the computer doesn't accidently deploy the gear early. If that happened, there would be no way to lift the gear during flight. The scenarios that could occur because of this are:

    1. The shuttle could burn up due to too much drag.
    2. The shuttle could undershoot its landing field.
    3. The landing gear could be damaged by the stresses, making landing impossible.

    So the "touch-down" they're referring to is merely the final stage of the landing. In all cases except one [], the shuttle has re-entered on automatic.
  • by Profane MuthaFucka ( 574406 ) <> on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @12:06PM (#13279341) Homepage Journal
    That is standard. The shuttle can land itself, but to date, no shuttle has been under computer control at the time of touchdown. Pilots want to fly, they are trained to fly, and I say we should let them fly.

  • by Hasai ( 131313 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @12:14PM (#13279408)
    ....courtesy of the American Public School System. :P

  • by mranchovy ( 595176 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @12:36PM (#13279598)
    ...the interviewer asked "What's the significance of having a female pilot for the Return to Flight"?

    Collins gave the reporter a half-condesending look and said "There is no significance".

    Finally, we have reached a point where no one gives a shit about equality of the sexes questions.

    Not quite. We'll reach that point when reporters don't ask questions like the above in the first place.
  • by justinstreufert ( 459931 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @12:54PM (#13279781) Homepage
    The article is worthwile because it gives us, the readers, a chance to comment on it, and have a more intelligent discussion than that which is available on any of the above media outlets.

    There's your added value.
  • by teromajusa ( 445906 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:08PM (#13279894)
    First, pointing out an inconsistency in the law does not prove that a fetus is a person. Second, almost everyone concedes that it is not birth that makes a baby a person. To frame the pro-choice movement as holding that position is a strawman argument. And a convenient way to avoid having to try and convince people that a fertalized egg is a person.
  • Re:Tiles... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by smoker2 ( 750216 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @01:23PM (#13280027) Homepage Journal
    Considering how long the shuttle fleet has been flying, I find it quite surprising that this is the first time they have checked the damn thing before they've tried to fly it back.
    Surely this should have been a crucial element right from the start ?
  • by WCityMike ( 579094 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @02:02PM (#13280385)
    Cute in a "your mother's best friend in the 1950s" kind of way.

    Hey, for 49, she's not that bad.
  • by pete-classic ( 75983 ) <> on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @03:41PM (#13281274) Homepage Journal
    women still suffer plenty of discrimination in the workplace, are underpaid relative to men doing the same job with the same experience

    Can you point me to a study that comes to this conclusion that accounts for continuity of employment? I suspect that factor accounts for the delta, but I'm completely open to persuasion to the contrary.

    and are still threatened with religious wackos cutting off access to healthcare services

    What a strange thing to say. Is there some movement afoot to prevent women from getting x-rays or diabetes medication?

    Or are you being incredibly disingenuous in order to make the legitimate disagreement over abortion seem illegitimate?

    (Or some other thing I haven't thought of?)

    Women are still underrepresented in the top levels of government and industry

    I don't know a good way to measure who controls the wealth in the country, which is nominally how people "vote" for industry leaders.

    On the other hand it is clear that the majority of those eligible to vote are women. I, like many men, see no reason not to vote for women. Now we just need to convince women to do so!

  • Re:Waste (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vsprintf ( 579676 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2005 @07:29PM (#13282754)

    Scrap the shuttle. Move the money to private industry (ala Burt Ruttan, Scaled Composites, etc.)

    Who do you think builds the shuttle and stack components? Hint: It's not NASA; it's Rockwell, Morton Thiokol, Pratt & Whitney, etc. NASA puts out an RFP for a project, selects one of the resulting designs and pays the private contractor(s) to build it. If you just dump the money on private industry, all you'll get is rich CEOs partying in the Bahamas.

    In 5 years, we'll all be in space just like the airline industry made air travel fast, safe, and affordable!

    Wonderful. Let's discuss the bankruptcy record and past and recent government bailouts of the airline industry. Then there's United Airlines which just dumped its pension obligations on the American taxpayers while its CEO got $1.1 million. That's a great model to follow.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham