Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Space Shuttle Discovery Makes Final Return to Earth Wednesday March 9th 2011

Discovery final mission (Photo Credit NASA)
The Space shuttle Discovery is expected to return to Earth for the final time on Wednesday, March 9th at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 11:57 am EST.

An alternative landing window has also been scheduled for 1:34 pm EST depending on weather conditions in Florida.  The backup landing site is also ready at Edwards Air Force Base.

Successful final mission

Discovery will be completing a 13 day mission to the International Space Station after the original schedule was expended by one day. Shuttle

Discovery undocked from the International Space Station at 6 am CST on the 7th March 2011 after eight days, 16 hours and 46 minutes.

Station Commander Scott Kelly praised the cooperation among crew members of both spacecraft. Discovery Commander Steve Lindsey said the team effort had allowed them “to accomplish well over 100 percent of our objectives.”

Discovery was the first space shuttle to dock with the International Space Station, during the STS-96 mission in 1999.

Final landing

When Discovery lands it will have spent 365 days in space and travelled more than 148 million miles during 39 flights. After touchdown, the Discovery crew will have routine physical examinations and meet their families.

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