Space Shuttle Could be Delayed

The space shuttle Endeavour has been cleared to return to Earth Sunday.

A final inspection of the shuttle's exterior shows no serious defects from any space junk that might jeopardize the craft during its reentry into the atmosphere.

The astronauts did notice a small strip of material floating away as they ran a check of their flight systems, but Mission Control assured them it was just a three-inch label.

The one complicating factor is the weather. The forecast is described as "pretty iffy" for the main landing site, Florida's Kennedy Space Center. So the backup site in California is being readied.

Endeavour and its seven-member crew unhooked from the international space station yesterday after a nearly two-week visit installing new accommodations and living space to expand the station's full-time crew to six.

Astronaut Gregory Chamitoff is especially eager to get back on Earth. He's been off the planet and away from his wife and three-year-old twins since May.


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