Sunday, July 31, 2005

Discovery Extends Mission; More high-res pics

UPDATE- Looking for the new Discovery Mission? The one that launched July 4th, 2006? Click Here.

SPACE CENTER, Houston - (AP) - Two spacewalking astronauts armed with caulking guns, putty knives and foam brushes practiced fixing deliberately damaged shuttle heat shields Saturday, as NASA extended what could be its last trip to the space station for a long while.

With future shuttle flights grounded because of Discovery's fuel-tank foam loss during liftoff, mission managers decided to keep the crew at the international space station an extra day to haul over surplus supplies and help with station maintenance. It could well be next year before the foam problem is fixed and a shuttle returns to the space station. The two spacewalkers, meanwhile, practiced repair maneuvers they hope they'll never have to do for real.

On Monday, NASA expects to wrap up all its analysis of Discovery's thermal shielding and give the final safety clearance for the shuttle's descent on Aug. 8, a day later now than originally planned. A final decision was expected Sunday, but was put off to give engineers a little more time to analyze a couple of protruding gap fillers between thermal tiles.

Full Story...

Yes, your eyes didn't deceive you. I am a big fan of high-resolution images so here ya go! All which came directly from the Shuttle and ISS. (Credit: NASA of course!)

View of the Discovery's tiles while it was performing a flip.

Another Picture of Discovery's tiles.

View of Discovery's nose.

View of Discovery's Cargo bay.

View of the ISS from Discovery.

Another view of the ISS.

I also wanted to add a picture I took during the shuttle launch. It's not the best quality but is pretty good since all I did was walk outside. :) Click Here.