Space Shuttle Endeavour lands in California

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Monday, December 1, 2008

STS-126 crew (left to right): Magnus, Bowen, Pettit, Ferguson, Boe, Kimbrough and Stefanyshyn-Piper.
Image: NASA.

After windy and stormy conditions in Florida prevented its planned landing at Kennedy Space Center, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) decided to redirect the space shuttle Endeavour to California. It touched down successfully at Edwards Air Force Base at 1:25 p.m. local time, or 21:25, November 30, 2008 (UTC).

NASA normally prefers to land space shuttles at its home base, Kennedy Space Center. In this case, NASA will have to transfer Endeavour atop a jumbo jet from California to Florida at an estimated cost of US$1.8 million.

NASA had launched mission STS-126 on November 14 with eight astronauts led by Commander Christopher J. Ferguson. The mission was intended to make improvements to the International Space Station, including a new bathroom, sleeping quarters, and urine recycling system. The crew also successfully cleared metal shavings from a jammed solar wing rotary joint, which had affected energy production.

Upon the landing, Mission Control radioed, "Welcome back. That was a great way to finish a fantastic flight."

"And we're happy to be here in California," replied Ferguson.


Wikipedia Learn more about Space Shuttle Endeavour on Wikipedia.