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STS128-S-046 (11 Sept. 2009) --- Space Shuttle Discovery?s main landing gear touches down at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California, concluding a successful mission to the International Space Station. Onboard are NASA astronauts Rick Sturckow, commander; Kevin Ford, pilot; John ?Danny? Olivas, Patrick Forrester, Jose Hernandez and Tim Kopra, all mission specialists; along with European Space Agency astronaut Christer Fuglesang, mission specialist. Discovery landed at 5:53 p.m. (PDT) on Sept. 11, 2009 to end the STS-128 mission, completing its almost 14-day journey of more than 5.7 million miles in space. The landing was diverted to California due to marginal weather at the Kennedy Space Center. Discovery?s mission featured three spacewalks and the delivery of two refrigerator-sized science racks to the space station. One rack will be used to conduct experiments on materials such as metals, glasses and ceramics. The results from these experiments could lead to the development of better materials on Earth. The other rack will be used for fluid physics research. Understanding how fluids react in microgravity could lead to improved designs for fuel tanks, water systems and other fluid-based systems. sts128-s-046

STS128-S-046 (11 Sept. 2009) --- Space Shuttle Discovery?s main landing gear touches down at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California, concluding a successful mission to the International Space Station. Onboard are NASA astronauts Rick Sturckow, commander; Kevin Ford, pilot; John ?Danny? Olivas, Patrick Forrester, Jose Hernandez and Tim Kopra, all mission specialists; along with European Space Agency astronaut Christer Fuglesang, mission specialist. Discovery landed at 5:53 p.m. (PDT) on Sept. 11, 2009 to end the STS-128 mission, completing its almost 14-day journey of more than 5.7 million miles in space. The landing was diverted to California due to marginal weather at the Kennedy Space Center. Discovery?s mission featured three spacewalks and the delivery of two refrigerator-sized science racks to the space station. One rack will be used to conduct experiments on materials such as metals, glasses and ceramics. The results from these experiments could lead to the development of better materials on Earth. The other rack will be used for fluid physics research. Understanding how fluids react in microgravity could lead to improved designs for fuel tanks, water systems and other fluid-based systems. sts128-s-046

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STS128-S-046 (11 Sept. 2009) --- Space Shuttle Discovery?s main landing gear touches down at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California, concluding a successful mission to the International Space Station. Onboard are NASA astronauts Rick Sturckow, commander; Kevin Ford, pilot; John ?Danny? Olivas, Patrick Forrester, Jose Hernandez and Tim Kopra, all mission specialists; along with European Space Agency astronaut Christer Fuglesang, mission specialist. Discovery landed at 5:53 p.m. (PDT) on Sept. 11, 2009 to end the STS-128 mission, completing its almost 14-day journey of more than 5.7 million miles in space. The landing was diverted to California due to marginal weather at the Kennedy Space Center. Discovery?s mission featured three spacewalks and the delivery of two refrigerator-sized science racks to the space station. One rack will be used to conduct experiments on materials such as metals, glasses and ceramics. The results from these experiments could lead to the development of better materials on Earth. The other rack will be used for fluid physics research. Understanding how fluids react in microgravity could lead to improved designs for fuel tanks, water systems and other fluid-based systems.

The Space Shuttle program was the United States government's manned launch vehicle program from 1981 to 2011, administered by NASA and officially beginning in 1972. The Space Shuttle system—composed of an orbiter launched with two reusable solid rocket boosters and a disposable external fuel tank— carried up to eight astronauts and up to 50,000 lb (23,000 kg) of payload into low Earth orbit (LEO). When its mission was complete, the orbiter would re-enter the Earth's atmosphere and lands as a glider. Although the concept had been explored since the late 1960s, the program formally commenced in 1972 and was the focus of NASA's manned operations after the final Apollo and Skylab flights in the mid-1970s. It started with the launch of the first shuttle Columbia on April 12, 1981, on STS-1. and finished with its last mission, STS-135 flown by Atlantis, in July 2011.

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11/09/2009
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