Discovery home-coming delayed

by Chris Bergin

Discovery will have to wait a day to complete the last leg of her trip home to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Orbiter had been expected to arrive home on Saturday after riding piggyback atop a Shuttle Carrier Aircraft (SCA) out of Edwards Air Force Base in California yesterday. But NASA has delayed the trip mid-point due to weather concerns.

Shuttle managers will meet on Sunday morning to reassess the flight plan, as Discovery and the SCA hop across the US – stopping for re-fueling.

The modified 747 carrying the Discovery had taken off Friday from California before stopping at Louisana’s Barksdale Air Force base to refuel.

Discovery and its seven-member crew touched down on August 9 in California after bad weather in Florida ruled out a landing there.

The craft underwent maintenance at the base, with fuel being removed and an aluminium tail cone being attached to eliminate drag during flight.

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