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Discovery begins return journey

August 09, 2005 17:27 IST

Space shuttle Discovery began its return to earth as pilot Jim Kelly fired the orbital manoeuvring systems that will put the spacecraft in a trajectory to land here at around 1742 IST.

The spacecraft was sailing over Madagascar island in the Indian ocean at an altitude of 4,00,000 ft when the orbital jets were fired at 1636 IST signalling an end to the mission that stretched on into the 14th day.

Also read: Discovery all set to return to earth

Inclement weather conditions at the Kennedy Space Center prompted mission managers to change the landing venue to Edwards Base in California on the western coast.

"Discovery is on its way back to Earth," Mission Control said from Houston.

The firing of the rockets had slowed the spacecraft by only 300 kilometers from its speed of about 27,000 kms per hour for re-entry.

 

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