The space shuttle Endeavour’s record-long stargazing flight was extended to at least 16 1/2 days because of stormy weather at the landing site Friday.
NASA told the seven-member crew to try to bring the spaceship home today along with its cache of astronomy data.
The delay, after more than two weeks of round-the-clock work with a $200-million set of ultraviolet telescopes, left the crew a full day to rest and look out the window. The telescopes had already been packed away for the ride home, and turning them back on would take too long.
The astronauts will land at either Kennedy Space Center, Fla., or Edwards Air Force Base.
Edwards was not considered on Friday. That’s because NASA prefers to land shuttles near its Florida launch site to save the $1 million it costs to bring the spacecraft back across the country atop a jumbo jet.