Shuttle, space station crews part after 8 days

March 25, 2009
In this image from NASA Television, the crews from the space shuttle and international space station wave after their talk with President Barack Obama via TV downlink Tuesday, March 24, 2009. Front row from left Japan Aerospace Exporation Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata, Greg Chamitoff, Mike Fincke and Sndra Magnus. Center row Lee Archambault, Tony Antonelli and Joseph Acaba. Back row Richard Arnold, Steve Swanson and John Phillip. (AP Photo/NASA TV)

(AP) -- After eight days together, it's time for the space shuttle and space station crews to say goodbye.

The hatches between the linked will be sealed early Wednesday afternoon. Three hours later, Discovery will undock.

Discovery will be bringing back five months' worth of science experiments from the . The blood, urine and saliva samples need to be kept cold for as long as possible, and will remain in the station freezer until the last possible moment.

The also is bringing back four to five liters of recycled water made from astronauts' urine and condensation. wants to make sure the water is safe before space station start drinking it up there.

Discovery and its crew of seven are due back in Florida on Saturday.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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