Weather concerns have
caused NASA to delay the return of space shuttle Discovery to the
Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The 747 and shuttle combination
departed from California Friday and spent the night at Barksdale
Air Force base in Louisiana.
Managers are scheduled to meet Sunday morning to determine if
the shuttle will continue home or wait another day for weather.
They're taking plenty of precautions with this journey. An Air
Force KC-135 has flown ahead of the shuttle to report on weather
After landing at Edwards Air Force Base on August 9th, Discovery
was defueled, purged of hazardous substances and fitted with a drag
reducing tail cone. The orbiter was then attached to ride home on
top of the specially modified 747.
The next Space Shuttle mission, STS-121, is now scheduled for
March 2006. Discovery will take the place of Atlantis, which will
be used to fly STS-115, carrying Space Station truss segments that
are too heavy for Discovery.
Atlantis will avoid flying back-to-back missions as previously