Shuttle Discovery returns safely to Earth

March 29th, 2009 - 3:19 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, March 29 (DPA) The space shuttle Discovery landed safely at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida Saturday.
Commander Lee Archambault guided the shuttle to landing at 1914 GMT, ending the shuttle’s 13-day mission to the International Space Station.

The landing had been delayed by around an hour and a half due to poor weather from an originally scheduled 1740 GMT touchdown, due to thick cloud cover.

The mission astronauts installed a fourth set of solar panels, completing the power plant needed to double the station’s electrical generating capacity.

The power allows the station to sustain six long-term residents instead of the current crew of three, and more occupants could arrive as early as May.

The shuttle crew completed three spacewalks during its mission, including installation of the last solar panels.

Earlier Saturday, a Russian Soyuz craft docked at the ISS, bringing two more ISS crew members and space tourist Charles Simonyi, a co-founder of Microsoft taking his second flight in space.

Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka and US astronaut Michael Barratt will replace Yury Lonchakov and Michael Fincke.

They will join Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, the first long-term Japanese crew member on the ISS, who arrived aboard the Discovery.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Sci-Tech |