Space: We've Got a Good Bird There

Overcoming glitches, Discovery makes a spectacular debut

A blood-red sun was just peeking over the eastern ridge of California's Mojave Desert when the space shuttle Discovery began to descend like a silver hawk in search of prey. As it shattered the sound barrier, a thundering crack! seemed to rend the sky in two, and a cheer swelled from the crowd below. Within minutes the ship had rolled to a halt along the right side of the runway at Edwards Air Force Base, kicking up massive clouds of dust. Not since the landing of the first...

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