Space Shuttle Endeavour Lands Safely for Final Time

Erik Hayden

At 2:34 am this morning, the space shuttle Endeavour's main gear successfully touched down at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew completed a 16-day mission servicing the International Space Station, totaling up 248 orbits around the Earth, four space walks, and successfully installing a $2 billion dollar cosmic ray detector. They also managed to juggle several live interviews from space and a serenade by amateur musicians from a NASA American Idol-style contest.

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Upon landing, Commander Mark Kelly thanked mission staff and had this to say about the Endeavour: "It is sad to see her land for the last time, but she really has a great legacy." The space shuttle's landing marks the second-to-last mission for the entire program. The public will view one final blast off when the Atlantis, now currently on the launch pad, takes to the skies on July 8th.

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Here's NASA's official, night-vision footage of the Endeavour's final descent:

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