|What's it like to land a space shuttle? Reporter finds out|
By Todd Halvorson, Florida Today
CAPE CANAVERAL — Now I know what it feels like to land in the space shuttle.
I've made that daunting, bricklike dive toward the landing strip at Kennedy Space Center and plunged seven times steeper than commercial airliners, with the ground approaching the cockpit windows at an alarming pace.
I've screamed down out of the atmosphere flying at full-reverse thrust before doing a 1.8 G pullout, a surprisingly smooth maneuver that leaves us fully poised for a tire-smoking 225-mph touchdown.
"It's just like Buzz Lightyear: Falling with style," Lindsey said.
NASA gave the news media this week a rare glimpse of the training that astronauts undergo as they prepare for flight, inviting journalists to board NASA 945, a Gulfstream II modified to mimic the shuttle's final approach and landing.
Shuttle mission commanders are required to tally at least 1,000 approaches, and pilots 500 — training aimed at making certain it's second nature to land the winged orbiters.
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