The Pendleton Panther

Successful Space Shuttle Landing

Posted on: April 21, 2010


At Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the space shuttle Discovery successfully landed on April 20th, 2010.  They were completing a complex space station resupply mission and returned to earth with a fiery plunge across the heartland of america.  The shuttle was running a day late because of cloudy weather.  Capt. Alan G. Poindexter of the Navy took over manual control at an altitude of about 50,000 feet above the spaceport, guiding the shuttle through a right overhead sweeping turn to line up on Runway 33.  Captain Poindexter pulled the Discovery’s nose up just before the threshold of the runway after its steep descent, while Col. James P. Dutton Jr. of the Air Force deployed the landing gear.  Their tire smoking touchdown occurred at 9:08 AM eastern time.  “Houston, Discovery, wheels stopped,” Captain Poindexter radioed to mission control at the Johnson Space Center.  “Roger, wheels stopped, Discovery. Welcome home,” Frederick W. Sturckow, an astronaut and retired Marine colonel, replied from mission control. “Dex, congratulations to you and the crew on an outstanding mission.”

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