Discovery on Course for Florida Landing

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., April 20 (UPI) — NASA managers gave space shuttle Discovery’s crew clearance for a Tuesday landing in Florida as weather conditions improved over the Kennedy Space Center.

Entry Flight Director Bryan Lunney said he and his team decided the shuttle would land on orbit 238 at 9:08 a.m. EDT, making its deorbit burn at 8:02 a.m. Monday’s landing attempts were foiled by rain and a persistent cloud cover over the space center, NASA said.


The STS-131 crew was awakened at 10:21 p.m. Monday as mission controllers in Houston played “On the Road Again” by Willie Nelson for astronauts Alan Poindexter, James Dutton Jr., Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Rick Mastracchio, Stephanie Wilson, Clayton Anderson and Japanese Space Agency astronaut Naoko Yamazaki.

The landing will mark the end of Discovery’s next-of-last mission to the International Space Station, with only three scheduled missions remaining before the space shuttle program ends. Discovery will make the final flight Sept. 16, with space shuttle Atlantis to make its final flight May 14 and Endeavour making its final trip to the ISS July 28.

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