The space shuttle Discovery touched down successfully in California after the first mission since 2003’s Columbia disaster.
Discovery landed at Edwards Air Force Base at around 1212 GMT after bad weather forced NASA to change the intended Florida landing site.
Earlier in 2003, space shuttle Columbia broke up on re-entry because of damage it sustained when foam debris fell off the fuel tank during lift-off. Similar to Columbia, foam debris broke free when Discovery was launched, but the crew made repairs in space and special precautions were taken that Discovery landed in perfect weather conditions and the crew stay safe and space mission stays viable.
NASA was keen that Discovery land in Florida, the home base. Now NASA will spend about $1 million on returning the shuttle from California to Florida where its launches take place.
The world waited anxiously for the safe touchdown and landing of Discovery, and welcomes the space crew back to earth. This successful space launch gives further impetus to the NASA’s space mission programs.