September 11, 2009 / 12:06 AM / 9 years ago

Shuttle Discovery leaves Earth orbit for landing

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - The space shuttle Discovery fired its braking rockets to leave Earth’s orbit and begin its descent to Earth on Friday, NASA said.

Earth is seen behind Space Shuttle Discovery in this image photographed by an Expedition 20 crew member on the International Space Station soon after the shuttle and station began their post-undocking relative separation in this NASA handout photo taken September 8, 2009. REUTERS/NASA/Handout

The shuttle and its seven astronauts are returning from a 14-day supply mission to the International Space Station. They are scheduled to land at Edwards Air Force Base in California at 8:53 p.m. EDT on Friday.

Thunderstorms prevented the shuttle from landing at its Florida home base.

Reporting by Irene Klotz; Editing by Pascal Fletcher

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