Discovery's Landing Waved Off

The VIP guests and their minder.

Actually, guests were only bussed in from the Visitors Complex after it was confirmed that the de-orbit burn had occured, and they arrived shortly before the landing.

Sunrise mist rises from one of the many ponds in the Kennedy Space Center. This one was immediately adjacent to the Shuttle Landing Facility's Control Tower and Weather Station.

A wave-off for the first landing opportunity was decided. This proved to be a wise decision, as at the time Discovery would have landed there was a fair bit of cloud around.

The delay afforded me with an opportunity to take misty dawn photos of a nearby 100 metre-long pond.

Tension rose as the time approached for a decision on whether to try landing at the second opportunity. We knew that if it was no-go for KSC, then the likelihood would be that mission controllers in Houston would give the nod to Edwards Air Force Base in California.

At 7:48 am a car raced down the runway, clearing birds. A convoy of vehicles arrived, headed by a red fire engine. Their job would be to support the Discovery, the science experiments and its crew after landing. They stood in a line at the runway's boundary, just in front of our viewing point.

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Text, images and audio Copyright to Andrew Rennnie, 2010