Shuttle Endeavour lands in California after space station mission
[ 2008-12-01 10:30 ]
The Space Shuttle Endeavour has landed after completing an 11-day mission to expand living space aboard the International Space Station. VOA's Brian Wagner reports from Miami.
Endeavour touched down at Edwards Air Force Base in California, after bad weather forced officials to divert the landing from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA officials had hoped to land Endeavour in Florida, to avoid the procedure of transporting the shuttle back to its home port.
From the space station, Commander Mike Fincke watched the landing and thanked shuttle team members for their work.
"Congratulations to the crew of Endeavour and the entire team that made that incredible home makeover mission possible," said Mike Fincke. "What a great team we have. We are really proud of everyone."
The Endeavour crew was on a 16-day mission that included delivering new supplies and equipment to expand facilities on the International Space Station.
The additions of a new bathroom, kitchen and sleeping quarters will enable officials to double the size of the space station crew from three to six people by next year. The station also received a new recycling device that converts urine and sweat into drinking water.
Astronauts conducted four space walks during the mission, to install new equipment on the station and repair a solar panel.
Endeavour brought home astronaut Gregory Chamitoff, who spent six months living aboard the space station. He is replaced at the station by Sandra Magnus.
The next shuttle mission is set for February, when Discovery will deliver additional equipment to the International pace Station.