Atlantis told to land at backup site in California

UPDATED: 13:56, June 23, 2007

NASA has waved off the shuttle Atlantis from its final Florida landing window for Friday, and is now targeting the backup runway at Edwards Air Force Base in California, said NASA TV.

"We couldn't get comfortable with KSC (Kennedy Space Center)," NASA astronaut Tony Antonelli told the shuttle crew from Mission Control Center. Nearby rain showers have scrubbed four landing opportunities at KSC on Thursday and Friday.

The forecast for Edwards appears to be clear. And now the landing time for Edwards would occur at 3:49 EDT (1949 GMT) with deorbit burn a little less than an hour prior.

Two more opportunities -- 5:23 p.m. and 6:59 p.m. EDT -- are available Friday at Edwards, according to NASA's landing blog.

Fifty space shuttle missions have landed at Edwards. The most recent was STS-114, when Discovery landed at the California base in 2005, according to NASA statistics.

Source: Xinhua

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