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NASA Hoping For Weather Break to Bring Discovery Home

10 Sep 2009, 22:09 UTC
NASA Hoping For Weather Break to Bring Discovery Home
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Lots of clouds and some pretty brisk winds at the Kennedy Space Center this evening. Not a great deal of optimism NASA will be able to land shuttle Discovery. The first opportunity to leave orbit after 13 days came and went, with conditions too dynamic on the ground to assure a safe touchdown. NASA has one more chance today to bring the shuttle home. Landing would occur at 8:40 p.m. EDT. It'll be a close call as well with some stricter flight rules to contend with since the landing would now occur after sunset. Other than the weather, it's been a good day for NASA, which successfully tested an enhanced shuttle booster rocket that is being designed for use on the agency's new Ares 1 rocket. The program is up in the air following a presidential study team report that determined budget cuts would delay the rocket's debut to the point that it may be fruitless to continue. Also today, Japan proudly launched its first cargo ship to the International Space Station. After practicing some rendezvous procedures in orbit, its scheduled to be berthed at the outpost next Thursday. (Discovery crew gets an extra orbit -- and maybe an extra ...

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