Aviation News

June 1, 2011

Space Shuttle Endeavour Returns to Earth for the Last Time

More articles by »
Written by: admin
Tags: , ,

Space Shuttle Endeavour touched down at Kennedy Space Center in Florida early Wednesday morning, marking the end of the ship’s career and the close of NASA’s second-to-last shuttle mission.

Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-134

NASA infrared cameras capture Space Shuttle Endeavour STS-134 on the runway at Kennedy Space Center.

Shuttle pilot Greg Johnson guided Endeavour to a smooth stop on Runway 15 of the NASA Shuttle Landing Facility at 2:35:36 am ET.

Mission STS-134 was the 25th and final flight for Endeavour, which spent a total of 299 days in space, completed 4,671 orbits of the Earth and traveled 122,883,151 miles. In addition to delivering the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer 2 and the ExPRESS Logistics Carrier 3, Endeavour completed 248 orbits around Earth on a journey of 6,510,221 miles since its launch on May 16th.

“We are very proud of Endeavour’s legacy, and this penultimate flight of the space shuttle program once again demonstrated the amazing skill and dedication of our astronauts and the entire workforce,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “As we begin the transition from the shuttle program to the commercial transportation of our crews and cargo, our ability to tackle big challenges remains steadfast and will ensure that NASA reaches even more destinations farther in the solar system.”

In addition to the milestones reached by the retiring shuttle itself, Mission Specialist Michael Fincke set one of his own on this flight, completing his 382nd day in space and taking the lead as the U.S. astronaut having spent the most time in space.

Endeavour will eventually find a home at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

About five miles from the landing strip, Space Shuttle Atlantis was being moved to the launch pad for its final launch as Endeavour touched down. STS-135, the last shuttle mission ever, is scheduled to launch on July 8th.

About the Author




PHOTOS: The Three Remaining WB-57Fs Take Flight Over Houston

Residents of Houston Texas were given a rare treat last Thursday: A formation flight by the only three remaining airworthy B-57s, NASA's WB-57Fs.
by Nathan Moeller


Space Travel’s Biggest Benefit – World Peace? Why We Must Venture Further

Why do we travel to space? What if there was a reason greater than technological advancements and finding a home on other planets? Dare we say...
by Phil Derner Jr.


President Richard M. Nixon and Dr. James C. Fletcher, NASA Administrator, discuss the proposed Space Shuttle vehicle in San Clemente, California, on January 5, 1972. (Photo by NASA)

Today in Aviation History: January 5th

The Space Shuttle program is launched, Amelia Earhart is declared legally dead, Independence Air ceases operations, and more...
by NYCAviation Staff


WATCH LIVE: Orion EFT-1 Launch Will Test Human Flight Into Deep Space

Orion, NASA’s newest spacecraft, is set to launch atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 7:05 a.m. Watch it live!
by Sarina Houston


Cool NASA Animation Beautifully Details Every Step of Orion’s First Launch!

A cool animation details NASA’s Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) mission, which will go farther than any human spacecraft has in the past 40 years.
by Ken Kremer, UniverseToday.com