Space Shuttle Discovery Crew Set to Return to Earth Thursday

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- Space shuttle Discovery and its seven-member
crew are expected to return to Earth Thursday after a 13-day mission.
Two landing opportunities at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida
are available at 7:05 p.m. and 8:42 p.m. EDT.

NASA will evaluate weather conditions at Kennedy before permitting
Discovery and its crew to land. If bad weather prevents a return on
Thursday, both Kennedy and the backup landing site at Edwards Air
Force Base in California will be activated for consideration on
Friday. For recorded updates about landing, call 321-867-2525.

Approximately two hours after landing, NASA officials will hold a
briefing to discuss the mission. The participants will be:
- Mike Moses, space shuttle launch integration manager
- Simonetta Di Pippo, European Space Agency's director of human
- Pete Nickolenko, STS-128 launch director

After touchdown in Florida, the astronauts will undergo physical
examinations and meet with their families. They are expected to make
brief remarks at the runway. The news events will be broadcast live
on NASA Television and the agency's Web site.

The Kennedy news center will open for landing activities at 8 a.m.
Thursday and close at 10 p.m. or one hour after the last media event.

The STS-128 media badges are in effect through landing. The media
accreditation building on State Road 3 will be open Thursday from 3
p.m. to 5:30 p.m. The last bus will depart from the news center for
the Shuttle Landing Facility one hour before landing.

If the landing is diverted to Edwards, news media should call the
Dryden public affairs office at 661-276-3449. Dryden has limited
facilities available for previously accredited journalists.

The NASA News Twitter feed is updated throughout the shuttle mission
and landing. To access the feed, visit:


For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming
video, visit:


For the latest information about the STS-128 mission and
accomplishments, visit:


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