Accessibility links

Discovery Completes 'Wildly Successful' Mission

  • VOA News

The space shuttle Discovery has safely returned to Earth, ending the first shuttle mission since the loss of the spacecraft Columbia in 2003.

Discovery commander Eileen Collins guided the shuttle to a smooth touchdown at Edwards Air Force Base in the western U.S. state of California early Tuesday.

At a post-landing news conference, U.S. space agency officials described Discovery's two-week mission as "wildly successful."

But they refused to speculate on when the shuttle might fly again. NASA has suspended all shuttle flights until engineers can determine why a piece of hard foam broke off from Discovery's external fuel tank during take-off.

A similar incident damaged the wing of Columbia and led to its break-up as it re-entered the Earth's atmosphere.

Today, Discovery experienced no problems as it cruised across the Pacific Ocean prior to landing.

The U.S. space agency shifted the site for today's landing to California because of bad weather at the shuttle's home base of Kennedy Space Center in the eastern U.S. state of Florida.

XS
SM
MD
LG