FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
National Space Society Members Congratulate Discovery Crew on Smooth Landing
NASA's Successful Test Flight Paves the Way for Future Flights
WASHINGTON, DC - August 9, 2005 - Members of the National Space Society watched from across the country and around the world as Commander Eileen Collins and Pilot James Kelly successfully landed the space shuttle Discovery at Edwards Air Force Base in California early this morning.
"This is a new start for America's space program," said NSS Executive Director George Whitesides. "It marks the first major step toward fulfilling the Vision for Space Exploration, and again spotlights the great skill and professionalism of our astronaut corps."
The landing capped off an eventful mission which demonstrated new on-orbit monitoring, analysis and repair technologies.
"NASA must now use the data from this test flight to bring the shuttle fleet to a full state of readiness," continued Whitesides. "The astronauts and ground crew of STS-114 did a tremendous job of bringing this mission to a successful conclusion. We thank them for their courage and determination."
The shuttle is slated to fly until 2010 as it completes construction of the International Space Station. After that point, the country's launch requirements will be met by a new craft, the Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), as well as a mix of launch vehicles from both NASA and the private sector. It is this fleet that will send the nation on its next great journey back to the Moon and on to Mars.
For more information on Discovery's historic mission, including commentary via the NSS Blog, click here to visit the NSS Mission Info Center.
About the National Space Society
The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, grassroots organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization. Founded in 1974, NSS is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen's voice on space. NSS counts thousands of members and over 50 chapters in the United States and around the world. The society also publishes Ad Astra magazine, an award-winning periodical chronicling the most important developments in space. For more information about NSS, how to join or donate, or the annual International Space Development Conference, visit: