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Space Shuttle Discovery to return to Earth

Monday, November 5, 2007

Crew of the STS-120

The space shuttle Discovery is coming back to Earth after 11 days in orbit. The a scan of the Shuttle's heat shield (now routine since the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster) showed no cause for concern and Discovery was cleared for the voyage home.

The current mission, STS-120 was launched on October 23. The mission's primary purposes were to deliver the Harmony module to the International Space Station and to help reposition and extend solar power arrays.

The mission gained wide attention for including a space walk to repair damage in the solar power array. The space walk had not been planned until the mission was already underway when the damage was then detected. However, additional problems with a rotary joint were not repaired and if they are not repaired they could interfere with further station construction.

The return will also bring back Clay Anderson who is being replaced on the International Space Station by Dan Tani.

Discovery is scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center at 1:02 PM EST (UTC-5) on November 7.

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