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    Space shuttle Discovery lands safely in Florida

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    ODN

    by ODN

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    The space shuttle Discovery has landed safely at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida after a 15-day resupply mission to the International Space Station.


    Discovery and its seven astronauts glided to a smooth landing on Tuesday at 9:08 am local time, completing the 131st mission of the shuttle program. Bad weather had delayed a scheduled return on Monday.


    The mission had already been lengthened by a day so that astronauts could use the space station's communications system to relay heat shield inspection results.


    Nasa discovered the shuttle's communications antenna was broken shortly after Discovery's launch on April 5.


    The inspection procedure came into place after the 2003 Columbia disaster which was blamed on a heat shield breach.


    Discovery's return leaves just three shuttle flights on Nasa's schedule before the ships are retired at the end of the year.


    Sister ship, Atlantis, is due to be rolled out to the launch pad on Tuesday evening to be prepared for a May 14 liftoff.