Latest Mark L. Polansky Stories

2008-12-01 01:20:00

Seven astronauts returned to Earth aboard space shuttle Endeavour on Sunday after having completed a 16-day mission aboard on the International Space Station. The Endeavour crew was forced to make a last minute adjustment to its initial plan to land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it took off from on November 14. Instead, bad weather caused NASA to direct the crew to the Edwards Air Force Base in California, where they touched down at 4:25 p.m. EST. "Welcome back. That was a...

2008-03-26 19:50:00

The space shuttle Endeavour glided to a nighttime landing in Florida Wednesday, concluding a mission that equipped the international space station with the first segment of a Japanese science lab. The winged space ship touched down at NASA's Kennedy Space Center at 7:39 p.m. CDT, following a steep descent from the southwest that took the seven astronauts over the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico and the eastern Gulf of Mexico. "Welcome home, Endeavour," said Mission Control as the 100-ton...

2006-12-22 17:35:00

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Space shuttle Discovery and its seven astronauts safely returned to Earth on Friday after some last-minute suspense over which landing site to use, closing out a year in which NASA finally got construction of the international space station back on track. Its arrival announced by its signature twin sonic booms, the spaceship touched down on a floodlit runway in the early evening darkness after a smooth, 13-day flight during which the astronauts rewired the space...

2006-12-21 09:15:00

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA managers may have to decide between three imperfect choices as they try to select a landing site for the shuttle Discovery. The forecast calls for low clouds and showers at Kennedy Space Center, where space shuttle is slated to land. Crosswinds are expected at the primary back-up landing site at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The weather looks good at a seldom-used back up site in New Mexico, but its lack of equipment would give NASA logistical headaches it...

2006-12-09 19:50:00

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Flashes of flame from space shuttle Discovery lit up the darkened sky Saturday as the spacecraft blazed off the launch pad for the first nighttime liftoff in four years. The shuttle's seven astronauts are on a mission to rewire the international space station, one leg of a three-year race to finish construction on the orbiting outpost before shuttles are retired in 2010. The illumination from the shuttle turned night into day for spectators at the Kennedy Space Center....

2006-12-02 13:20:00

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Discovery's seven astronauts are among the most culturally diverse of any space shuttle crew. There are two African-Americans, an astronaut of Indian descent, the soon-to-be first Swede in space, a British-born mission specialist, an Alaskan and a Jersey Boy. It's also the greenest crew in eight years when it comes to spaceflight experience: Five astronauts have never flown in a space shuttle before. The last time a shuttle mission had five rookies was a Columbia crew...

2006-11-14 00:05:00

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The space shuttle Discovery's seven astronauts flew to Florida on Monday for several days of dress rehearsal in preparation for their Dec. 7 launch on a mission to the international space station. Led by commander Mark Polansky, the astronauts will run through emergency escapes from the launch pad, practice landing on Kennedy Space Center's runway and learn how to put out fires on the shuttle. The dress rehearsal culminates Thursday with the crew donning their...

2006-10-15 09:20:00

NASA has said it over and over again: The coming missions to finish the International Space Station are among the hardest and most complex ever. But if you ask the astronauts and engineers which of the final 14 assembly flights may be the most complex, many would point to Discovery's next mission, set to launch in December.  "What makes this one singularly unique is the fact that we're going to rewire the space station," Mark Polansky, Discovery's commander, said. Since it went into...

2005-08-10 09:00:00

From Mission Control to Main Street, the relief was visceral: Discovery was home. In 2003, the nation's heart sank at the sight of multiple contrails in the Texas sky, an unmistakable sign that space shuttle Columbia was disintegrating during re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. So for those closest to Discovery's two-week "return to flight" mission - as well as those still grieving for Columbia's crew of seven - Tuesday's landing in California was especially nerve-racking. Afterward, NASA...

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Gregory Johnson
2012-10-22 11:08:31

Gregory Johnson is a NASA astronaut and a former colonel in the United States Air Force. He was born Gregory Harold "Box" Johnson on May 12, 1962 in South Ruislip, Middlesex, United Kingdom. Throughout his childhood, he became an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.. He graduated from Park Hills High School in Fairborn, Ohio in 1980 and went on to attend the United States Air Force Academy, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering in 1984. He was...

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Word of the Day
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.