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Shuttle 'Discovery' Begins Journey Home


Astronauts aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery have undocked from the International Space Station and are heading home.

The shuttle was expected to circle the space station once, so crew members could take pictures, before embarking on the two-day journey home. The shuttle is slated to land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday.

During their visit, the crew members conducted three spacewalks to boost electrical power and research capacity at the station.

They also delivered a new Japanese crew member to the International Space Station, Koichi Wakata. He will replace American Sandra Magnus, who is returning home after 131 days at the space station.

Within days, the crew at the International Space Station will get new visitors - the crew of a Russian Soyuz rocket scheduled to launch on Thursday.

During their visit, shuttle crew members worked on a new water recovery system intended to create drinkable water from urine and condensation. They are bringing home samples for testing, to make sure the system works.

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


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