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Shuttle lands in Florida after weather delay

By the CNN Wire Staff
Space shuttle Discovery lands Tuesday at 9:08 a.m. ET at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Space shuttle Discovery lands Tuesday at 9:08 a.m. ET at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
  • Shuttle lands at Kennedy Space Center in Florida
  • Weather caused shuttle to miss first landing opportunity earlier in day
  • Two landing opportunities were scrapped Monday due to weather
  • Volcanic ash cloud has not affected landing plans, NASA says

(CNN) -- After spending an extra day in orbit, the seven astronauts aboard the space shuttle Discovery landed Tuesday morning at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA officials had been closely monitoring weather conditions in the area of the space center, and passed on the first landing opportunity there.

Bad weather prompted mission managers to scrap two landing opportunities at Kennedy on Monday.

Officials had been mulling a landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. But earlier concerns about rain showers within 30 miles of the Kennedy runway were dispelled.

The astronauts were awakened Monday night to begin landing preparations, according to NASA, with mission control playing Willie Nelson's "On the Road Again" as their wake-up call.

On Monday, overcast clouds and a chance of showers in the Cape Canaveral, Florida, area forced the wave-off of an 8:48 a.m. ET opportunity. A scheduled landing at 10:23 a.m. ET also was canceled.

The volcanic ash from Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull glacier, which has caused widespread flight disruptions throughout the world, did not affect the landing plans, NASA said.

The shuttle's re-entry course was not near the ash cloud, the agency said.

The shuttle launched on April 5 and docked to the Space Station two days later.

It marked the first time four women have been in space at one time.

Three women -- mission specialists Stephanie Wilson, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger and Japanese astronaut Naoko Yamazaki -- are part of the Discovery's crew.

NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson was already at the space station.

The astronauts' trip included three spacewalks and delivery of more than seven tons of equipment and supplies.

There are only three shuttle missions remaining before the space shuttle fleet is retired.