Space shuttle Endeavour lands safely after successful mission (Second lead, Changing dateline)

December 1st, 2008 - 8:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 1 (RIA Novosti) The US space shuttle Endeavour has made a successful landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California after being forced to abandon plans to land in Florida, US space agency Nasa said. The shuttle touched down at 4.25 p.m. (2125 GMT) Sunday.

The crew was unable to return to Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the initial landing site, due to weather concerns, Nasa said.

Endeavour will now travel some 2,500 miles from California to Florida on the back of a modified 747 jumbo jet within the next seven to 10 days.

The shuttle docked with the International Space Station (ISS) Nov 16 as part of a mission to deliver equipment to enable the orbiting platform to hold six crew members, instead of the current three.

“In addition, the STS-126 astronauts delivered Expedition 18 Flight Engineer Sandra Magnus, who replaced Greg Chamitoff, now a mission specialist who returned to Earth aboard Endeavour,” Nasa said on its website.

Endeavour’s next flight is scheduled for May 2009.

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