Shuttle Discovery lands after final voyage

| 09/03/2011

(Reuters): The space shuttle Discovery capped a successful construction mission with asmooth landing in Florida on Wednesday, ending a 27-year flying career for NASA’s most-traveled spaceship as the agency faces an uncertain future. Discovery commander Steven Lindsey circled his ship through clear, sunny skies over the Kennedy Space Center to burn off speed, then bee-lined toward the marsh-surrounded runway a few miles from where the shuttle blasted off for its final space flight on Feb. 24. Discovery touched down at 11:57 a.m. EST (1657 GMT) to wrap up a cargo run and construction mission at the International Space Station. The shuttle accumulated 365 days in orbit over 39 missions, racking up more than 148 million miles (238 million km).

It will now be prepared for display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

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