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Space Shuttle Discovery Returns to Earth

By VOA News
14 June 2008

The U.S. space shuttle Discovery and its seven-member crew returned to earth Saturday after a successful two-week mission to the International Space Station.

The shuttle safely touched down at 11:15 a.m. local time (1515 UTC) at the U.S. space agency's landing strip at the Kennedy Space Center in the southeastern state of Florida.

The mission's highlight was the delivery and installation of a new $1 billion Japanese science laboratory. The 11-meter long lab is now the largest module on the orbiting space station.

Astronauts also exchanged a member of the orbital outpost's permanent crew. American astronaut Greg Chamitoff remained on the space station for a six-month mission. He replaced U.S. astronaut Garrett Reisman who returned home after 95 days in space.

The Discovery crew also delivered a pump used to repair the station's toilet.

NASA engineers cleared the shuttle to return home on Friday after an inspection of the shuttle was completed. Engineers had seen an object floating away from the shuttle on Friday, but later said it was a metal clip from the rudder's assembly and determined the situation posed no problem.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.


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