Discovery Lands in California
Oct. 24, 2000
EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) _ Space shuttle Discovery and its seven astronauts landed in California's Mojave Desert on Tuesday after dangerously high wind prevented a touchdown in Florida for the third day in a row.
The shuttle swooped through a clear sky and touched down on the runway at Edwards Air Force Base shortly about 2 p.m. PDT, ending a 13-day flight during which the astronauts got the international space station ready for the arrival of its first full-time residents next week.
It was the 100th space shuttle flight for NASA and the first time in 4 1/2 years that a shuttle was detoured to California. The shuttle zoomed across the Pacific and right over Los Angeles, then northward into Edwards on the final approach.
``Welcome back to Earth after a super successful mission,'' Mission Control said after Discovery rolled to a safe stop.
``Great to be back,'' replied commander Brian Duffy.
Gusts of close to 30 mph forced NASA to pass up a landing attempt at Cape Canaveral, Fla., earlier in the day. The wind also kept the shuttle from landing in Florida on Sunday and Monday, while rain clouds at Edwards on Monday scuttled landing plans there.
To the astronauts' relief, the weather was ideal at Edwards on Tuesday.
``After a rough couple days of weather, Edwards is giving you the best it has to offer,'' Mission Control said.