Space shuttle landing today | Shuttle landing path flies over USA

Discovery space shuttle on a landing path

The unique space shuttle landing path took Discovery over many U.S. states. Image from Flickr.

At 9:08 a.m. Eastern time, the shuttle landing path came to an end when the space shuttle landing today was completed. NASA officially announced the completion of the space shuttle landing today after the shuttle landing path took Discovery and the crew over much of the United States – from state parks in Montana to a payday loan store in Georgia. This was the third space shuttle landing attempt, after two scrubbed landings yesterday.

Space shuttle landing today nearly scrubbed again

Today was the third attempt to land the Discovery space shuttle in Florida. Yesterday, two attempts were canceled because of clouds and bad weather. The space shuttle landing today had to be delayed by an Earth orbit due to nearby rain showers. After 238 complete orbits around the earth, Discovery touched down.

Shuttle landing path

The shuttle landing path that Discovery took was very unusual for NASA. Ever since the Columbia disaster in 2003, which scattered debris across California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas, NASA has scheduled the shuttle landing path so that it does not go overland. However, the Discovery shuttle landing path allowed the crew to get several extra hours in space as well as a payday loans’ worth of hours of extra sleep before the space shuttle landing today. This unusual shuttle landing path also allowed people in a large swath of the United States to see and hear the Discovery space shuttle landing today.

Next NASA Space shuttle mission

The next space shuttle mission NASA has planned is supposed to lift off on May 14. The Atlantis space shuttle is the first of the last three flights of NASA space shuttles. The final Discovery space shuttle flight is currently scheduled for Sept. 16 of this year. After the current space shuttle fleet is retired, NASA has been instructed to “refocus” on longer-range and longer-term missions to space.

Watch the space shuttle landing today