July 17, 2006

Shuttle Discovery cleared for re-entry

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - The U.S. space shuttle
Discovery was cleared for landing at the Kennedy Space Center
in Florida on Monday at the end of a mission meant to signal
NASA's full recovery from the 2003 Columbia disaster.

Re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere was to begin with a
"de-orbit burn" to adjust the winged spacecraft's trajectory
before it makes its scorching return under temperatures as high
as 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,700 degrees Celsius).

Discovery's return caps the second shuttle mission since
Columbia, its sister ship, broke apart over Texas just 16
minutes from landing on February 1, 2003.