Space shuttle to dodge debris on way home - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Space shuttle to dodge debris on way home

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (KWWL) - NASA has decided to move the shuttle Discovery out of the way of a mystery piece of orbiting junk before the spacecraft heads for a scheduled landing on Earth.

The astronauts have been asked to fire shuttle thrusters around noon Thursday to avoid what Mission Control is calling a "mystery object."

Officials says the debris apparently came off the linked shuttle and international space station during a spacewalk Saturday. Experts do not know what the piece is.

The shuttle is scheduled to land Thursday evening in Florida but thunderstorms could keep it in orbit an extra day or two.

If Discovery skips Florida on Thursday, NASA will consider the backup touchdown site in California as early as Friday.

Discovery spent more than a week at the space station, delivering supplies.

Online News Director Nate Leding

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