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November 11, 2011
Space Shuttle Discovery's main landing gear touches down at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California, concluding a successful mission to the International Space Station. Onboard are NASA astronauts Rick Sturckow, commander; Kevin Ford, pilot; John "Danny" Olivas, Patrick Forrester, Jose Hernandez and Tim Kopra, all mission specialists; along with European Space Agency astronaut Christer Fuglesang, mission specialist. Discovery landed at 5:53 p.m. (PDT) on Sept. 11, 2009 to end the STS-128 mission, completing its almost 14-day journey of more than 5.7 million miles in space. The landing was diverted to California due to marginal weather at the Kennedy Space Center. Discovery's mission featured three spacewalks and the delivery of two refrigerator-sized science racks to the space station. One rack will be used to conduct experiments on materials such as metals, glasses and ceramics. The results from these experiments could lead to the development of better materials on Earth. The other rack will be used for fluid physics research. Understanding how fluids react in microgravity could lead to improved designs for fuel tanks, water systems and other fluid-based systems.

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