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By - Darren Straight

Discovery on the way home!

Space shuttle Discovery is set to return to Earth on Monday, with a 4:46 a.m. EDT (0846 GMT) landing at the Kennedy Space Centre.

Space Shuttle Discovery flies alone. Its crew was awakened at 8:39 p.m. EDT for the last full day of spaceflight before landing, which is scheduled for 4:46 a.m. EDT Monday.

This will be a quiet day aboard Discovery for the crew, who spent nearly nine days in joint operations with the International Space Station’s Expedition 11 crew before undocking early Saturday. Together, they transferred tons of supplies and equipment to and from the Station, conducted three spacewalks and experimented with techniques for repairing the Shuttle’s heat shields.

STS-114, dubbed the most photographed spaceflight, set a new precedent for future test flights. Never-before-seen imagery aided engineers in assessing the Shuttle’s external tank performance and ensuring a safe heat shield for return to Earth.

A mission of firsts, STS-114 carried the Orbiter’s Boom Sensor System on its maiden flight, performed the first back-flip in spaceflight and successfully completed a first-of-its-kind repair to the Shuttle, making spacewalk history. Discovery was the first Space Shuttle to visit the Station since late 2002.

The two crews paid tribute to the astronauts and cosmonauts who have given their lives for space exploration.

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