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Fog and rain delayed NASA's first attempt to land the shuttle at its Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., but conditions have improved greatly. Discovery is due to land at the space center – its home port and launch site – at 9:08 a.m. EDT (1308 GMT).
Mission Control radioed the good news to Discovery's crew and ordered the astronauts to fire their shuttle's rocket engines at 8:02 a.m. EDT (1202 GMT) in order to leave Earth orbit and begin the descent home..
The shuttle should be visible (weather permitting) to observers on the ground as it streaks from the northwestern United States to the southeast, passing over parts of western Canada, Washington, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia and then finally into Florida for a landing at Cape Canaveral. The last time a shuttle made such an approach was in 2007.