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Shuttle Discovery lands in Florida

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, April 20 (RIA Novosti) - The U.S. space shuttle Discovery landed safely at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday, NASA reported on its website.

The shuttle landed at 9:08 EDT (13:08 GMT).

NASA had postponed the landing three times due to bad weather conditions after the shuttle undocked from the International Space Station on April 17.

This was Discovery's 33rd mission to the ISS, and the 131st mission of the Space Shuttle program.

Discovery arrived at the station on April 7, delivering more than seven tons of equipment and supplies. During the 10-day stay, Mission Specialists Rick Mastracchio and Clayton Anderson conducted three spacewalks to install a 1,700-pound ammonia tank assembly on the station's exterior to replace a depleted predecessor. They also replaced a rate gyro assembly, retrieved a Japanese experiment and two debris shields.

NASA will carry out three more Discovery launches by late September and then scrap the program. The U.S. space agency says the shuttles are outdated and too expensive to maintain. Russian rockets will subsequently be used to deliver U.S. astronauts to the ISS.

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