Space shuttle Discovery lands safely at air force base in California

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VietnamNet English - 64 month(s) ago 1 readings

Space shuttle Discovery lands safely at air force base in California

The US space shuttle Discovery touches down in the Mojave Desert on September 11, at Edwards Air Force Base near Rosamond, California, ending a 13 day-mission to the ISS. The successful landing came after the Discovery was twice on September 11 and twice on September 10 unable to land at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida because of poor weather conditions. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

U.S. space shuttle Discovery landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Friday after a two-week resupply mission to the international space station.

The landing site was shifted to Edwards after weather conditions forced flight controllers to pass on both landing opportunities at Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the second day in a row.

Discovery, with seven astronauts aboard, touched down at 8:53 p.m. EDT on Friday (0053 GMT on Saturday), well before sunset under sunny skies.

Because of stormy weather in Florida, controllers put off the shuttle's landing at its home port on Thursday and Friday, and told the crew to head to Edwards Air Force Base, the backup touchdown site where conditions were pristine.

This was the 54th shuttle landing at Edwards, NASA said.

NASA will spend 1.7 million dollars transporting the shuttle back to its home port atop a modified jumbo jet. The cross-country ferry trip task more than a week.

Launched on Aug. 28, Discovery delivered tons of supplies and equipment to the International Space Station, including life support racks and science racks.

It was bringing back home seven astronauts, including Timothy Kopra, who spent nearly two months at the outpost.

Also hitching a ride back is Buzz Light year. The 12-inch action figure had been in orbit for 15 months since mid-2008 as part of an educational program. The doll will return to Walt Disney World for a tickertape parade at the beginning of October.

Discovery's crew performed three spacewalks at the space station, installing a fresh tank of ammonia coolant, new antennas and cabling for Tranquility, the living quarters that's due to arrive early next year.

The crew, however, hit a snag when they failed to hook up one cable connector. NASA is devising repairs for the next shuttle visitors in November.

This is Discovery's 37th mission to space and the 30th mission of a space shuttle dedicated to the assembly and maintenance of the International Space Station.

VietNamNet/Xinhuanet

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