The space shuttle Discovery and its seven astronauts returned to Earth safely on Tuesday, bringing a successful end to NASA's troubled return to human space flight 2 1/2 years after the Columbia disaster.

Discovery was traveling at 17,000 mph (27,000 kph) when it made its fiery re-entry into Earth's atmosphere and swooped over the Pacific Ocean before gliding to a smooth predawn landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California after a 14-day mission that may have been the last shuttle flight for some time.

NASA diverted the shuttle to California after bypassing four chances to land at Discovery's home port, the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where clouds and rain showers proved troublesome.

I had high doubts of them reaching to earth safely but they made home safely. If for any reason this would have crashed it would have probably been the end of NASA space travel.