Space Shuttle Endeavour Lands at Kennedy Space Center


image

Space Shuttle Endeavour touched down at Kennedy at 12:32 p.m., ending its mission to the International Space Station.

Endeavour returned home two weeks after it launched from the Florida space port. Endeavour arrived at the station on Aug. 10 with the seven STS-118 astronauts quickly beginning joint operations with the Expedition 15 crew.

While at the station, the astronauts conducted four spacewalks to continue on-orbit construction and repair work at the station. The major tasks include the installation of the Starboard 5 truss, replacement of a faulty attitude control gyroscope and preparations for assembly work by future crews.

STS-118's stay at the station also featured the successful test of the Station-to-Shuttle Power Transfer System, which allows power generated by the station to be routed to a docked shuttle. The system will allow shuttle missions to stay at the station for longer periods of time.

Endeavour undocked from the station Sunday to end its almost-nine-day stay and began the trip home.

Landing also will bring to an end the first flight for Mission Specialist Barbara R. Morgan, an educator who was selected to become a mission specialist astronaut. She was first selected by NASA in 1985 as the backup to Teacher in Space Christa McAuliffe.

Following the Challenger accident in 1986, Morgan continued to work with NASA on educational activities and returned to teaching elementary school in Idaho. She returned to NASA as an astronaut in 1998.

STS-118 is the 119th space shuttle flight and the 22nd shuttle mission to visit the station.

The next shuttle mission, STS-120, is targeted to launch in late October.

Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.