Science and Technology News

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Discovery Begins Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver

At , space shuttle Discovery began the nine-minute Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver, or "backflip." With Commander Steve Lindsey at the helm, Discovery is rotating 360 degrees backward to enable space station astronauts to take high resolution pictures of the shuttle's heat shield. Lindsey then will fly the shuttle through a quarter circle to a position about 310 feet directly in front of the station, allowing the station to catch up with it for docking at

On mission STS-114, Discovery was the first shuttle to perform this "backflip" maneuver, one of the safety procedures instituted following the Columbia accident.

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