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Space Shuttle Atlantis Returns Home 24

Posted by Zonk
from the hooray-for-earth dept.
Digitus1337 writes to mention the news that Space Shuttle Atlantis has returned to Earth after a successful twelve-day mission. Everything involving the mission went smoothly, resulting in high praise from NASA officials. The only drama came from 'mysterious' debris floating alongside the shuttle; this turned out to likely be trash from the cargo bay accidentally released into space. From the article: "The unplanned drama threatened to overshadow what had been a nearly flawless mission filled with strenuous spacewalks and rigorous robotics work that placed the space station back on a path to completion after its long hiatus. The crew of five men and one woman were the longest-trained in NASA history, because they were originally supposed to fly to the space station in 2003. But the Columbia accident kept them grounded."
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Space Shuttle Atlantis Returns Home

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  • The only drama came from 'mysterious' debris floating alongside the shuttle; this turned out to likely be trash from the cargo bay accidentally released into space.

    Of course they'll say that.

    And all the other UFOs were, of course, flocks of geese and meteorological balloons and whatnot.

    The government is just trying to hush it up.

    Remarkable success, really... governments don't usually succeed in anything else but hushing up UFOs.

    • by R3d M3rcury (871886) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @02:14PM (#16155887) Journal
      And all the other UFOs were, of course, flocks of geese and meteorological balloons and whatnot.
      I thought it was swamp gas from a weather balloon trapped in a thermal pocket which reflected the light from Venus. Really. This guy in a black suit [imdb.com] told me...
    • by TheGreek (2403)
      And all the other UFOs were, of course, flocks of geese and meteorological balloons and whatnot.

      The government is just trying to hush it up.

      Remarkable success, really... governments don't usually succeed in anything else but hushing up UFOs.
      So, uh, what does Occam's Razor tell you about that?
      • by cp.tar (871488)
        So, uh, what does Occam's Razor tell you about that?

        That the sole purpose of governments is to conceal the existance of the UFOs, of course.

    • It was trash from the cargo bay. This being Atlantis, it was Ancient trash.
      • by Kelson (129150) *
        This being Atlantis, it was Ancient trash.

        At least it wasn't more of that Ori trash. ;)

  • by Intron (870560) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:40PM (#16155579)
    Among the debris: 6 McDonalds fries containers, a comb with gum stuck on it, a toll receipt for the GW bridge dated 1995, that missing glove from the EVA 10 years ago, an empty chapstick, two Miller Lite beer cans, and directions to the party that you don't want to remember now.
  • Don't forget about the "butterfingers" loss of a couple of space station bolts into space and the oxygen machine's 'toxic' irritant spill...
    • Yes, how big were the UFOs relative to the bolts? That was my first thought.

      When I heard the theory that at least one of the UFOsmay have been a plastic bag my instant thought was "I know that carrier bags can blow high in the air, but *that* high?" B^>

      Rgds

      Damon

  • by Kelson (129150) * on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:42PM (#16155606) Homepage Journal
    Yesterday the Bad Astronomy site posted a great photo of Atlantis and the ISS [badastronomy.com] silhouetted against the sun. The photo was taken last Sunday... from the ground! The post over there also links to photographer Thierry Legault's website, with a bunch more space photos.
    • ...in color (Score:3, Informative)

      by Megane (129182)

      It's also today's APOD [nasa.gov] picture:

      http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap060921.html [nasa.gov]

      For those who were "too lazy; didn't read" the comments on the badastronomy page, the transit only lasted one second. So not only was it great camera work, it was great timing, too.

    • Wow. That's just awesome.

      You kind of think of it differently when you see the pictures taken in orbit. But when you see something actually taken from the ground, and think that it's up there floating around it makes you think completely differently.
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Thursday September 21, 2006 @01:43PM (#16155610)
    New NASA Rule: No burritos in the hanger - period. For Christ's sake, if you make a Taco Bell run, it's not like people aren't going to be able to tell from the smell, so quit throwing your wrappers in the cargo bay.
  • there was a boom that rattled the windows of the house. my wife said, "what was that?". i wasn't sure - still half asleep and then she said, "oh, the shuttle is back". went back to sleep happy that they made it back safe.
    • by bunions (970377)
      Ok thanks for the update. If anything else wakes you up, be sure to post it. What did you have for breakfast?
      • last night a street sweeper woke me up. 1:00 - 1:30 a.m. really annoying. for breakfast yesterday i had vanilla yogurt and a glass of low sodium v-8. (not simultaneously) today i overslept because of the street sweeper and blew off breakfast, but i just had chips and salsa that someone brought in. it was o.k. but the guy who makes it always goes mild because people around here can't handle spicy. but hey, it was free.
    • Whereabouts do you live that you were able to hear the boom from the shuttle re-entering the atmosphere? I'm just outside of Orlando, FL and I didn't hear a thing. And I even woke up to listen and see if I could see the shuttle making it's approach. (I was heading over to KSC this morning)
      • I live in South East Orlando. The Lake Hart area. The prior landing before that was easy to hear in my office building- so I assumed it was that way pretty much throughout town.
  • I see that McKay managed to find three ZPMs...
  • I've been fiddeling around with Orbiter [ucl.ac.uk] lately. Sadly, I haven't managed to get a shuttle to orbit yet. Really good to get an impression of the scale and principles of spaceflight.
  • Brent Jett, commander of the space shuttle [yahoo.com]. Too funny.

    That goes along with a couple of other weird name/profession matches that I have heard about: My dad's dentist when he was a kid was "Mr. Molar", and the school where my wife was an after-school program mentor for a while had a shop teacher, "Mr. Wood". This is all 100% for real. Again, too funny.

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