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The BBC's Judith Maloney
"Finally the shuttle has landed safely"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 25 October, 2000, 01:34 GMT 02:34 UK
Shuttle lands in California
Discovery AP
The 100th shuttle misssion comes to an end
The space shuttle Discovery has landed in California after being forced by bad weather to stay in orbit for two days longer than scheduled.


Welcome back to Earth after a super successful mission

Mission control to Discovery
The orbiter came in to land at Edwards Air Force Base - ending a two-week mission to the International Space Station (ISS) - after poor conditions had ruled out its home base at Florida's Kennedy Space Centre.

Even the weather at the substitute landing site caused problems, with showers preventing a landing on Monday.

But the craft finally touched down safely at Edwards on Tuesday, ending the 100th mission by a US space shuttle programme.

New components

It was the first time since 1996 that the Edwards base had been used as a landing site. Discovery had enough fuel and power to stay in orbit throughout Wednesday.

Leroy AP
Crew added two segments to the ISS
"Welcome back to Earth after a super successful mission," mission controllers told the crew.

The shuttle completed its work on the ISS on Friday, undocking after delivering two new components to the station.

The astronauts installed an aluminium framework containing antennae and motion-control gyroscopes, and a new shuttle docking port.

Ready for business

Four spacewalks, on four consecutive days, were required to make all the connections.

Having completed their tasks, the crew had some free time on Saturday, while they waited to return to Earth.

The space station is now ready for the arrival of Nasa astronaut William Shepherd and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Guidzenko and Sergei Krikaliov.

They are scheduled to blast off from Kazakhstan on 31 October, arriving two days later for a four-month stay.

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See also:

22 Oct 00 | Sci/Tech
Wind delays Discovery landing
18 Oct 00 | Sci/Tech
Space walk prepares for solar panels
13 Oct 00 | Sci/Tech
Shuttle docks with space complex
08 Oct 00 | From Our Own Correspondent
100 missions and counting
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