Images: Discovery's set to return home
The shuttle was cleared after tests showed that its torn thermal blanket could withstand re-entry.
The astronauts on the shuttle Discovery are packed and ready for their return to Earth. Here, the robotic arm of the International Space Station, Canadarm2, appears to wave goodbye as Discovery departs.
The space station's robotic arm grips the Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Raffaello to place it back in Discovery's cargo bay. New supplies had been taken to the station in the space crate and trash is being returned to Earth.
Discovery began the first leg of its return to Earth by separating from the International Space Station.
This is the shuttle landing strip at Cape Canaveral, Fla.