Boosters at Sea
Floating in the Atlantic Ocean about 150 miles northeast of Cape Canaveral are the right and left solid rocket boosters, which were jettisoned from the Space Shuttle Discovery 2 and 1/2 minutes into the ascent to orbit on Saturday evening, Dec. 9. Though the boosters landed in the ocean miles from each other, overnight wind and ocean currents allowed the left booster, which was floating higher in the water, to migrate to the location of the right booster. The SRB retrieval team monitored the boosters through the night, and confirmed that the boosters did not contact each other. Both boosters were towed back to Hangar AF at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where the refurbishment operations are now underway.
Image credit: NASA