Space shuttle Discovery set to land tonight in California

Bad weather near Kennedy Space Center on Thursday delayed the shuttle landing.
The space shuttle Discovery will land in California Friday evening, NASA said after bad weather near Kennedy Space Center forced it to wave off a landing in Florida.

The shuttle is scheduled to touch down at 5:53 p.m. (8:53 p.m. ET) at Edwards Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert, where the weather is described as “pristine,” NASA said. A California landing adds a week to the turnaround time before the shuttle can be ready for another mission and adds several million dollars to the cost. Discovery was initially scheduled to return to Earth on Thursday, but poor weather in central Florida forced a delay. Both Florida landing opportunities Friday were canceled by “a very deep moisture system that descended over the Florida spaceport,” a NASA spokesman said. The seven astronauts are wrapping up a 13-day mission to the international space station, where the crew made repairs and delivered supplies.

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Shuttle Discovery landing scrubbed

The crew executed three spacewalks and dropped off the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill, or COLBERT treadmill, named after comedian Stephen Colbert. Weather and technical problems delayed Discovery’s launch three times before the mission began.