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THE NATION | IN BRIEF / FLORIDA

Shuttle Waits Out Rain, Makes Night Landing

July 25, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

Space shuttle Atlantis and its crew of five returned to Earth after delivering and installing a new portal for spacewalkers at the international space station.

The shuttle swooped to a landing on the floodlighted runway at Cape Canaveral, Fla., at 11:39 p.m. EDT, following a one-day rain delay.

A line of showers prevented Atlantis from returning to its home base Tuesday morning and added a 13th day to the flight, which had already been extended by a day because outfitting the portal, or air lock, took longer than expected.

It was only the 18th space shuttle landing in darkness in 20 years.

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