NASA engineers analyze photos of Discovery; Astronauts wait for the all-clear to come home

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

NASA is finishing up its analysis of the latest laser data of Discovery's wing and nose.

Mission managers are expected to let the astronauts know later today if they are cleared for landing. Engineers are checking for possible meteorite damage that might have occurred while it was docked at the international space station.

Shuttle commander Pamela Melroy tells The Associated Press that a change in the landing path and schedule allows the crew to shift their sleep time later instead of earlier. She told Mission Control that she preferred a safer, easier touchdown in daylight. NASA also factored in crew fatigue, after a stressful 15-day mission.

Meanwhile, astronaut Clayton Anderson is coming home after five months on the international space station. He says he's looking forward to ice-cold drinks and ice cream.

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