The US space shuttle Endeavour should land back on Earth Friday as planned after a 16-day mission to service the International Space Station, 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 Thursday.
"Right now, the weather at KSC (Kennedy Space Center in Florida) 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 (1448 GMT). If the shuttle cannot touch down at the time, a second attempt would take place at 12:22 pm (1622 GMT), Lunney explained.
Should inclement weather or other conditions prevent the return on Friday, 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 (0825 GMT).