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Space shuttle to land at Edwards AFB in California

September 11, 2009 |  2:09 pm

Unstable weather on the East Coast will force the space shuttle Discovery to land this evening at California's Edwards Air Force Base instead of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA announced today.

The so-called “deorbit burn” is scheduled to begin at 4:47 p.m. PDT for a 5:53 p.m. landing at Edwards in the Mojave Desert north of Los Angeles, according to details published on NASA’s website.

The second opportunity for leaving orbit will come at 6:23 p.m., ending with a landing at 7:28 p.m.

“The burn lasts three to four minutes, slowing Discovery enough to begin its descent,” according to information published by NASA.

This evening’s scheduled landing would complete a trip to deliver supplies and equipment to the International Space Station. The mission lasted 14 days and covered 5.7 million miles. A strong sonic boom may possibly be heard over a large section of the coast and some inland areas of Southern California upon the shuttle’s arrival, according to NASA.

-- Ann M. Simmons