KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Their quiet yet productive mission drawing to a close, astronauts on the space shuttle Discovery wrapped up a slew of orbital experiments Sunday amid high praise from scientists.
"It maybe is not a showy mission like the Mir docking missions," said NASA flight director Wayne Hale. "But it's an example of the kind of workmanship-like things that we have to do to get ready to build the space station."
Hale said the crew of six achieved all its objectives despite nagging problems with some of the 24 payloads.
"It looks like we're going to get 100% or maybe more than 100% of all the objectives for each and every payload that we flew," he said.
Discovery was scheduled to land here a little after sunrise today, 11 days after taking off on the science and technology mission. Good weather was forecast.
The astronauts spent their last full day in orbit swinging around the ozone-monitoring satellite that they retrieved Saturday for the trip home. They also lowered Discovery's altitude from 184 miles to 158 miles to allow for last-minute atmospheric and cloud observations by other on-board instruments.