Bad weather further stalls shuttle landing

Sep 11, 2009 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer
In this image provided by NASA the International Space Station is seen from Space Shuttle Discovery backdropped by a blue and white portion of the Earth as the two spacecraft begin their relative separation Tuesday Sept. 8, 2009. Bad weather prevented space shuttle Discovery from returning home Thursday and kept its astronauts circling the world for at least an extra day. Discovery's next chance at returning will be Friday at 5:48 p.m. (AP Photo/NASA)

(AP) -- Bad weather in Florida has stalled space shuttle Discovery's landing once more.

Mission Control decided Friday afternoon to skip the day's first attempt and shoot for a nighttime return instead. If conditions remain poor at the shuttle's home port, flight director Richard Jones will send Discovery and its crew of seven to Edwards Air Force Base. That's the backup site in California.

Thursday's landing attempts were thwarted by rain and wind. The weather looked no better Friday.

prefers Florida landings because the cross-country ferry trip eats up $1.7 million and more than a week.

Shuttle commander Rick Sturckow says he's game for either coast. The mission to the space station has spanned 14 days.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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