March 5, 2011

Discovery Shuttle Mission Extended

NASA announced Friday that it will extend the current shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by one more day, giving the Discovery mission two extra days in space before being retired.

The all-American six-member crew of the shuttle Discovery mission is now scheduled to return to Earth on Wednesday, March 9, after a 13-day rendezvous with the ISS.

The US space agency added an extra day earlier this week to the original 11-day planned trip.

"The additional days are to allow Discovery's crew more time to help the International Space Station crew members get the Leonardo Permanent Multipurpose Module unpacked and set up for permanent life in orbit," NASA told AFP.

The extra day will allow the crew to work on more equipment repairs.

The shuttle Discovery, which launched from the Kennedy Space Center on Feb. 24, is taking its last trip into orbit before it becomes the first of the three remaining US shuttles to be decommissioned.

Endeavor is scheduled for an April 19 launch followed by Atlantis on June 28, officially bringing the US shuttle program to an end after 30 years in service.


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