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Space Shuttle Discovery Successfully Touches Down at Edwards Air Force BaseAired October 24, 2000 - 4:57 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, I'm Miles O'Brien at CNN Center in Atlanta. We welcome our viewers all around the world to a sight which is occurring live over the Los Angeles area.
This is the end of the space shuttle Discovery's mission 13 days after launch. It should have ended 11 days after launch. NASA missed no less than eight opportunities to land the shuttle, but on account of bad weather, had to wait until this moment and divert to Edwards Air Force Base. This is the 46th Edwards Air Force Base landing in space shuttle history.
At the moment, the commander of the mission, Brian Duffy, is at controls of the space shuttle Discovery. He has just come out of what is called the heading alignment curve turn, has straightened out his wings, and is heading in for runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base.
Let's listen in to NASA commentator James Hartsfield as Discovery comes home after 5.3 million-mile journey.
The space shuttle currently traveling approximately 300 miles-an- hour on its final approach to runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base. It's dropping precipitously about eight times steeper than a commercial airliner at rate of about 10,000 feet per minute. Speed is bled off as it continues its descent down. The landing gear opens up just a few moments before the landing.
This is the moment when a space shuttle commander earns his keep, so to speak. The last three minutes, he is in control of the space shuttle -- Discovery the most traveled of the space shuttle fleet. Let's listen in.
JAMES HARTSFIELD, NASA COMMENTATOR: Landing gear down and locked on board. Main gear touchdown. Nose gear touchdown. Discovery home after completing one of the most complex missions to date and setting the stage for the first permanent occupation of the International Space Station beginning next week.
O'BRIEN: And, as the orbiter runs -- moves down the runway there, the seven-member multi-national crew, having traveled 202 orbits of the planet, on this the 100th shuttle mission, the 99th successful landing, and as we said, the 46th at Edwards Air Force Base.
HARTSFIELD: Rolling out on runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base.
O'BRIEN: Having installed two key components for the International Space Station, making it ready for the first live-aboard crew set to board from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brian, your great landing today made everybody happy at Edwards Air Force Base. Welcome back to Earth after a super-successful mission.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Great to be back -- speaking for all of us.
O'BRIEN: All right, the voice of capsule communicator Dom Gorie, shuttle commander Brian Duffy -- the successful conclusion to the 100th shuttle mission -- and one week from today: the International Space Station to become occupied by its first live-aboard crew -- that launch scheduled, for Baikonur Cosmodrome -- CNN of course planning live coverage of that.
I'm Miles O'Brien, live at the CNN Center in Atlanta.
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