“Discovery Wheel Stop,” said Commander Eileen Collins on the successful return to Earth in a text book landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
STS-114 came to an end through the nerve wracking re-entry and landing in the dark of the Californian desert.
Discovery swooped into the air base in the Mojave Desert at 3:11pm UK and landed on the Edwards runway to complete a 14 day mission – classed as a test flight.
Discovery was forced to land in California after poor weather once again called off attempts to land at the primary landing site at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“Congratulations on a truly spectacular test flight,” Mission Control said once Discovery came to a stop. “Welcome home, friends.”
“We’re happy to be back and we congratulate the whole team for a job well done,” Commander Eileen Collins replied.
Following a long wait for workers to safe the vehicle, Collins and her crew emerged to be greeted by officials. In front of Discovery, the crew had a quick walk around the Orbiter to check on her condition.
“She looks fantastic,” Collins said to waiting media.
Meanwhile, back at the Kennedy Space Center, NASA head Mike Griffin noted that the mission was a success, with the task in hand to being ready to launch Atlantis on STS-121.
“We’re going to try as hard as we can to get back in space this year,” Griffin said. “But we’re not going to go until we’re ready to go.”