Discovery back on Earth - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

07/17/06

Discovery back on Earth

Space Shuttle Discovery had a picture perfect landing Monday bringing to an end the second shuttle flight since the 2003 Columbia disaster. All seven astronauts died when Columbia broke apart over East Texas.

Discovery and its crew of six made a 13-day trip to the international space station. The crew left supplies and German astronaut Thomas Reiter which will help bring space station operations back up to speed.

There were a couple of minor problems on the way back, including a power unit that had a slight leak.  But the foam insulation the space agency was so worried about proved not to be a serious problem.

Experts called it a textbook landing. NASA's shuttle program is scheduled to end in 2010. They have 16 missions left to fly.

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