The space shuttle Discovery undocked from the International Space Station this morning , leaving one Iowa astronaut in orbit and bringing home another astronaut with Iowa ties. Clay Anderson is the first Iowa State University graduate in space and the Nebraska native was aboard the orbiting outpost five months.
When the hatches were sealed between the shuttle and the space station Sunday, Anderson was heard over the NASA communication system to be quite emotional about leaving. He got so choked up he had to halt a few times saying his good-byes. Beaconsfield native Peggy Whitson, in her second trip to the station, will be onboard through early next year as the first woman commander.
The past week was challenging, as a giant solar wing tore while being unfurled, forcing a lengthy spacewalk repair mission. Discovery is due home on Wednesday.