Bad Weather Delays Shuttle Landing

Image above: A photo of space shuttle Discovery docked with the International Space Station taken by a spacewalking astronaut during the third and final spacewalk of STS-128. Credit: NASA NASA

Last updated at 7:51 p.m. Eastern

Bad weather has delayed space shuttle Discovery's homecoming for at least a day.

NASA decided conditions were too poor to bring Discovery back to Florida on Thursday evening. Mission Control skipped both landing possibilities and ordered the seven astronauts to keep circling the world for a 14th day. Their next chance at returning will be Friday at 5:54 p.m.

The forecast for Florida on Friday is worse, and it only gets a little better Saturday.

NASA did not activate its backup landing site at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., for Thursday's landing attempt, but Jones may reconsider that strategy based on the forecast for Florida, reports CBS news space analyst William Harwood.

Discovery has enough supplies to remain in orbit until Sunday at the latest, but NASA would bring the crew down, on one coast or the other, by Saturday if problems prevent a landing Friday, Harwood reports.

There was a bit of excitement earlier Thursday when the astronauts steered clear of a mysterious piece of space junk. The debris apparently came from the shuttle or international space station.

For more info:
CBS News space analyst Bill Harwood's "Space Place" updates
Space Shuttle Main Page (NASA)


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