Space shuttle Discovery set to return to Earth for final time

March 8th, 2011 - 1:13 pm ICT by BNO News  

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA (BNO NEWS) — NASA on Monday announced that Space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to return to Earth for the final time on Wednesday, completing a 13-day mission to outfit the International Space Station.

If Discovery lands Wednesday, it will have spent a total of 365 days in space and traveled more than 148 million miles (238 million kilometers) during 39 flights. It launched on its first mission on August 30, 1984. On Monday, Discovery undocked from the International Space Station for the last time.

The shuttle’s six member crew delivered cargo, a new pressurized storage module, an outside storage platform, a robot-astronaut prototype, and tons of cargo. Spacewalks and indoor tasks were also performed.

Wednesday landing opportunities at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida are at 11:57 a.m. and 1:34 p.m. EST. NASA managers will evaluate weather conditions at Kennedy before permitting Discovery to land.

If Discovery is unable to land Wednesday, additional opportunities are available on Thursday at Kennedy and at backup landing site Edwards Air Force Base in California.

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