Discovery to Fly Over US

Columbia disaster sparked changes in NASA procedures
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 6, 2007 1:35 PM CST
In this image from NASA TV, the stabilizer and payload bay on the shuttle orbiter Discovery is seen against the Earth Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2007. (AP Photo/NASA TV)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The space shuttle Discovery will fly across the US tomorrow before landing in Cape Canaveral, a feat NASA hasn’t attempted since the doomed shuttle Columbia rained debris over the country in 2003. New safety procedures have minimized the risk of another disaster, ABC News reports. People below may see the shuttle and will definitely hear its double sonic boom.

Discovery will fly across southwestern Canada before tracing an arc from Montana to Florida. The entire journey, from leaving orbit to landing, will take roughly an hour and bring the shuttle home at 1:02pm EST. "Landing in daylight is a safer and easier task than landing in the dark," says the space shuttle program manager.