CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Space shuttle Discovery is on the first leg of its way back to the Earth as it left the International Space Station Saturday.
The crew plans to take pictures of the space station as they fly around it Saturday, then orbit Earth until Monday, when the shuttle is scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
The shuttle was docked at the station for more than a week, as astronauts conducted experiments and worried engineers debated whether the damaged shuttle could survive re-entry, CNN reports.
The crews of both the Discovery and the space station transferred needed supplies and equipment.
NASA officials gave the shuttle the OK Thursday to return to earth.
Deputy shuttle program manager, Wayne Hale said a torn thermal blanket is a low to no risk problem and that an attempt to fix it could make the situation worse.