At 1:01:15 PM ET today, space shuttle Discovery landed at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
It was a fairly quiet mission media-wise, but it was one of the most important Space Shuttle missions in the history of the program.
Mission STS 120 carried something called the "Harmony Node 2" about which NASA says:
"Think of the next component set for delivery to the International Space Station as an international crossroads in space. That's the major function of the Italian-built U.S. module that will be ferried to the station aboard space shuttle Discovery during mission STS-120."
Harmony provides a passageway between three station science experiment facilities: the U.S. Destiny Laboratory, the Kibo Japanese Experiment Module, and the European Columbus Laboratory.
The international crossroads the Harmony 2 creates brings up to space something that, in the hardware world is a notable occasion. The European Columbus Labratory will now comfortably attach and exchange with the ISS; and NASA Engineers who tested the communications equipment of the Columbus said this, when finished:
“This is the best piece of hardware we have ever tested”.
… Wow! …