Space shuttle Endeavour returns to Earth after final mission

June 1st, 2011 - 4:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, June 1 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The space shuttle Endeavour landed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida Wednesday bringing its 25th and final spaceflight to a close.

The landing, two days after Endeavour undocked from the International Space Station, was broadcast live on NASA’s website and came as Atlantis rolled slowly toward the launch pad for the last shuttle mission, provisionally scheduled for July 8.

Endeavour delivered the station’s premier science experiment, Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer particle detector, and a pallet of spare parts intended to tide over the orbital outpost after the shuttle programme ends.

The crew conducted four spacewalks during the mission, including one that lasted more than eight hours - the sixth-longest spacewalk in history.

The spacecraft’s last journey will take it to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

After Atlantis’ July mission to the ISS, Russian Soyuz craft will be the only way for astronauts to fly to the ISS. Over the next four years, NASA will pay its Russian counterpart, Roscosmos, more than $1 billion for crew transfer services.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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