|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