Commander Ken Bowersox and Pilot Scott Horowitz guided the Shuttle
Discovery to a night landing at the Kennedy Space Center.in the
predawn darkness this morning, setting the orbiter down at 2:32
a.m. Central time to wrap up a 4.1 million mile mission to refurbish
the Hubble Space Telescope. It was the ninth night landing in Shuttle
program history, the fourth at the Florida spaceport.
After the first landing opportunity of the day at the Kennedy Space
Center was waved off because of low clouds over the Shuttle Landing
Facility, the weather cleared and the green light was given to permit
the seven astronauts to return home. The landing was the sixth
straight at the Kennedy Space Center.and the 13th in the last 14
Discovery swooped out of the nighttime darkness and landed at the
3-mile long landing strip at KSC, which had additional illumination
available through the recent installation of 52 halogen lights
positioned every 200 feet down the centerline of the runway.
Left in orbit was the 12-ton Hubble Space Telescope, equipped with two
new scientific instruments and other upgraded engineering hardware for
enhanced performance until another crew of astronauts returns to the
observatory in late 1999 for its third servicing. Hubble is expected
to resume scientific observations in several weeks after its new
equipment is calibrated.
Discovery'sastronauts are expected to return to Ellington Field in
Houston for a welcome home ceremony at about Noon Central time.
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