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Latest STS-114 Stories

2005-08-06 02:52:27

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Shuttle Discovery undocked from the International Space Station on Saturday, in its first step toward returning to Earth on Monday. With pilot Jim Kelly at the controls, Discovery pulled away from the docking port and slowly separated from the station to which it has been linked since July 28 in the first shuttle mission to the space outpost since 2002.

2005-08-05 15:56:45

By Irene Klotz HOUSTON (Reuters) - As the shuttle Discovery prepared on Friday to leave the International Space Station, NASA scheduled its next shuttle mission for Sept. 22 provided it can find a quick fix to falling fuel tank foam that has grounded the rest of the orbiter fleet. Falling insulating foam from the external tank doomed the shuttle Columbia in 2003 when it knocked a hole in its heat shield, and despite 2 1/2 years of work, and $1 billion in upgrades, foam again fell off when...

2005-08-05 07:52:01

By Jeff Franks HOUSTON (Reuters) - Discovery astronauts packed up on Friday and got ready to leave the International Space Station as the first shuttle visit to the outpost since 2002 -- and likely the last for a while -- neared its end. NASA earlier declared the shuttle safe to return home, clearing the way for what is the first step toward Discovery's planned landing on Monday in Florida. The Discovery crew was to say goodbye to station crew members Sergei Krikalev and John Phillips...

2005-08-05 03:50:11

By Jeff Franks HOUSTON (Reuters) - Discovery astronauts started packing up on Friday for their departure from the International Space Station after NASA finally said the shuttle was safe enough to come home from the first flight since the 2003 Columbia disaster. The crew finished loading an Italian-built cargo unit with more than three tonnes of trash and unneeded equipment from the station for the return to Earth and stowed gear that included space suits used on three spacewalks by...

2005-08-04 17:22:45

By Irene Klotz HOUSTON (Reuters) - NASA on Thursday cleared the space shuttle Discovery to return home after dismissing lingering concerns about its condition, and told the crew to pack up their spacesuits because there was no need for a fourth spacewalk. Discovery's scheduled return to Cape Canaveral in Florida on Monday will be the first shuttle landing since Columbia disintegrated over Texas 2 1/2 years ago as it glided through the atmosphere on re-entry. "I will not tell you that it...

2005-08-04 13:37:05

By Irene Klotz HOUSTON (Reuters) - NASA on Thursday cleared lingering concerns about shuttle Discovery's condition to return home and told the crew to pack up their spacesuits because there was no need for a fourth spacewalk. "We have good news," astronaut Julie Payette, speaking from NASA's Mission Control, radioed to the crew. "The MMT (mission management team) just got to the conclusion that the blanket underneath the commander's window is safe for return." "There is no issue. So...

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2005-08-04 13:35:00

SPACE CENTER, Houston -- NASA told space shuttle Discovery's astronauts Thursday that a spacewalk to repair a torn thermal blanket will not be necessary. Mission Control told the crew of seven that the shuttle will be safe for re-entry with the ripped blanket below the cockpit window. The space agency had been considering sending the astronauts out to snip away part of the blanket for fear a 13-inch section weighing just under an ounce could tear away during the return to Earth and slam...

2005-08-04 06:50:14

By Jeff Franks HOUSTON (Reuters) - Commander Eileen Collins said astronauts on shuttle Discovery had seen widespread environmental destruction on Earth and warned on Thursday that greater care was needed to protect natural resources. Her comments came as NASA pondered whether to send astronauts out on an extra spacewalk to repair additional heat-protection damage on the first shuttle mission since the 2003 Colombia disaster. Discovery is linked with the International Space Station and...

2005-08-04 04:23:54

By Jeff Franks HOUSTON (Reuters) - NASA was deciding on Thursday whether it needed another spacewalk to make shuttle Discovery safe for its return to Earth as its crew finished transferring cargo to and from the International Space Station. The astronauts were loading up the station with as much food, water and other supplies as they could. Discovery was the first shuttle to visit since before the 2003 Columbia disaster and another may not come for some time. NASA has grounded the shuttle...

2005-08-03 20:04:32

By Irene Klotz HOUSTON (Reuters) - A spacewalking astronaut ventured to the underside of space shuttle Discovery on Wednesday for the first time and plucked two protruding cloth fillers from between ceramic tiles on the shuttle's heat shield. But Discovery, the first shuttle to fly since Columbia broke up over Texas in 2003, was still without the all-clear to land next Monday. Engineers were conducting wind tunnel tests to determine if a damaged insulation strip beneath a window could rip...


Word of the Day
humgruffin
  • A terrible or repulsive person.
Regarding the etymology of 'humgruffin,' the OED says (rather unhelpfully) that it's a 'made-up word.' We might guess that 'hum' comes from 'humbug' or possibly 'hum' meaning 'a disagreeable smell,' while 'gruffin' could be a combination of 'gruff' and 'griffin.'