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The space shuttle Discovery is due to make its first attempt
The space shuttle Discovery is due to make its first attempt to land at Cape Canaveral, in Florida, on Wednesday, the NASA press service said.

"The seven astronauts on board space shuttle Discovery completed final preparations Tuesday for their return home with landing planned for the first of two opportunities to the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., at 1:02 p.m. EST [6:02 p.m. GMT] Wednesday," NASA said on its Web site, adding that the crew had enough food and liquid on board to stay in space until Saturday, if necessary.

Weather forecasts indicate favorable conditions for Wednesday's landing.

The 15-day mission that began on October 25 saw four spacewalks.

On October 26, the crew attached the Italian-made Harmony Node 2 module to the International Space Station (ISS). The compartment is designed to expand the interior of the station to around 500 cubic meters (18,000 cubic feet), and allow European and Japanese research laboratories to be connected to the ISS.

During one of the spacewalks, astronaut Daniel Tani discovered black particles, believed to be metal shavings, inside a motorized joint controlling one of the solar wings. The second spacewalk, however, exposed no evidence of any debris.

Astronauts also moved an 18-tonne solar power panel truss, P6, to create space for expansion at the ISS. However, the solar panel was subsequently torn during the operation, and NASA sent out an astronaut on a dangerous spacewalk to carry out vital repair work.

Discovery also delivered a new station crew member, Flight Engineer Daniel Tani. He replaced Clayton Anderson, who had been onboard the station since June.


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