NASA Shuttle Discovery arrives safely at space station, plus VIDEO

The NASA space shuttle Discovery arrived safely at the International Space Station today. This is one of the last shuttle missions before the program ends this year and the seven-person crew had to manoeuvre the docking without radar, due to a communications antenna failure.

Alan Poindexter, Mission Commander, completed the 8-minute link up to dock 215 miles (344 km) above the Caribbean, according to NASA. Commander Poindexter then radioed to say “Houston and station, capture confirmed”. To see the actual docking watch the video below.

The communications antenna failure meant the crew had to use their training to dock without radar assistance and NASA say they “used an array of other navigation tools to precisely track the space station”. As in our earlier story, the mission is being used to carry supplies and equipment to the space station and three spacewalks are planned during the mission.

The astronauts will also retrieve an experiment from outside the Japanese laboratory , Kibo. The body’s musculoskeletal system is also being studied with the use of an exercise machine to measure the effects of weightlessness. Have you been following the shuttle mission and are you disappointed to know there will soon be no more? Why not let us know?

Source: BBC News