Cape Canaveral, Fla. (AP) -- Space shuttle Discovery and its seven astronauts safely returned to Earth on Friday after some last-minute suspense over which landing site to use, closing out a year in which NASA finally got construction of the international space station back on track.
Its arrival announced by its signature twin sonic booms, the spaceship touched down on a floodlit runway in the early evening darkness after a smooth, 13-day flight during which the astronauts rewired the space station and delivered U.S. astronaut Sunita "Suni" Williams to the orbiting outpost for a six-month stay.
"We're just really proud of the NASA team that put it together," said Discovery commander Mark Polansky. "We think it's going to be a great holiday."
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.