Accessibility links

Space Shuttle Discovery Lands in Florida

The U.S. space shuttle Discovery landed Saturday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, ending a 13 day mission to the International Space Station.

Officials with the U.S. space agency, NASA, delayed the shuttle's landing for about two hours because weather at the landing site was not favorable for the earlier attempt.

Discovery's seven-member crew earlier gave the International Space Station a new set of solar panel wings to boost the orbiting outpost's power supply.

During Discovery's landing approach, NASA tested an experimental tile under the shuttle's left wing.

The tile - almost eight centimeters thick - has a specially designed "bump" to disturb the normally smooth flow of air over the tile in order to expose the tile to extreme heat.

A U.S. military plane was to monitor the amount of heat created with a special (infrared) camera. The findings will be used to help design future spacecraft.

NASA blames a gash on one of the wings of the space shuttle Columbia for causing the spacecraft to disintegrate as it re-entered the planet's atmosphere in 2003.

At the International Space Station Saturday, a Russian cosmonaut was forced to manually dock a Soyuz capsule carrying Charles Simonyi, a U.S. billionaire space tourist, after a glitch involving one of the engines.