Space shuttle Endeavour returns home after successful mission

December 1st, 2008 - 12:02 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec 1 (ANI) NASAs space shuttle Endeavour and its crew landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base in California on November 30, after the successful completion of repair work at the International Space Station (ISS).

The STS-126 mission featured important repair work and prepared the ISS to house six crew members on long-duration missions beginning next year.

The new station equipment includes a water recovery system, additional sleeping quarters, a second toilet and an exercise device.

During four spacewalks, the crew serviced the stations two Solar Alpha Rotary Joints, which allow its solar arrays to track the sun, and installed new hardware that will support future assembly missions.

Astronaut Sandra Magnus replaced Expedition 18 Flight Engineer Greg Chamitoff on the ISS, who returned to Earth on Endeavour after more than five months on the station.

Weather concerns prevented the crew from returning to NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the primary end-of-mission landing site.

In 7-10 days, Endeavour will be transported approximately 2,500 miles from California to Florida on the back of a modified 747 jumbo jet.

Once at Kennedy, Endeavour will be separated from the aircraft to begin immediate processing for its next flight, targeted for May 2009.

STS-126 was the 124th space shuttle mission, the 22nd flight for Endeavour and the 27th shuttle visit to the station.

With Endeavour and its crew safely home, the stage is set for the launch of STS-119, targeted for February 12, 2009. (ANI)

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