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Endeavour to land Friday as planned: NASA

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This image provided by NASA shows a view of the Space Shuttle Endeavour in space

WASHINGTON (PTI): The US space shuttle Endeavour should land back on Earth Friday as planned after a 16-day mission to service the International Space Station (ISS), a NASA official said, while cautioning about Florida's unstable weather at this time of year.

"I'm really optimistic that things are going to pay out well for us in terms of getting to land tomorrow," Flight Director Brian Lunney said.

"Right now, the weather at KSC (Kennedy Space Center in Floriday) is looking really good," he added, noting that teams on the ground would give another update early Friday.

The first landing attempt is scheduled for 10:48 am (2018 IST). If the shuttle cannot touch down at the time, a second attempt would take place at 12:22 pm (2152 IST), Lunney explained.

Should inclement weather or other conditions prevent the return tomorrow, the shuttle could land Saturday in Florida or in California, which has good weather conditions forecast all week, he added.

Endeavour blasted off from Florida on July 15 with its crew of seven astronauts after weather concerns scuttled five launch attempts. The launch of the next shuttle, Discovery, to the ISS is planned for August 18 at 4:25 am (1355 IST).

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