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Endeavour Touches Down In Florida

The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft carries Endeavour back to its home base at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
by Staff Writers
Cape Canaverla FL (SPX) Dec 15, 2008
Space shuttle Endeavour and the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft shimmered in the Florida sun Friday afternoon as the shuttle returned to its home spaceport at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Florida's Atlantic coast.

The modified 747 provided the muscle to lift and fly Endeavour from Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to Kennedy. The ferry flight began Wednesday and made overnight stops in Texas and Louisiana on its way to Florida.

The 747 touched down at 2:44 p.m. EST on the Shuttle Landing Facility's runway 33. The 3-mile-long runway is the same one used by shuttles when they return from space. Endeavour will be taken to the gantry-like Mate-Demate Device to be removed from the top of the 747. Then Endeavour will be towed to the Orbiter Processing Facility where it will be readied for a future flight.

Endeavour, flying STS-126, landed at Edwards on Nov. 30 because weather conditions at Kennedy were not acceptable.

Space shuttle Endeavour and its seven astronauts followed up recent missions that added to the International Space Station's exterior by beefing up the interior of the orbital complex.

During about 16 days in space, the crew added new living, cooking and exercise facilities to the space station. They also performed four spacewalks to service the joints in the station's truss that turn the power-producing solar arrays.

By the time Endeavour left the station on Nov. 28, 2008, it had spent almost 12 days at the complex. The seven astronauts, joined by the three crew members living on the station, had transferred more than seven tons of equipment and supplies to the station, and moved more than 3,400 pounds from the station for return to Earth.

After launching from NASA's Kennedy Space Center well after sunset on Nov. 14 Endeavour glided back to Earth awash in sunlight over California. Commander Chris Ferguson guided Endeavour to an afternoon landing at Edwards Air Force Base on Nov. 30 to end the flight.

The next shuttle mission is STS-119, targeted for launch on Feb. 12, 2009, on a flight to install the fourth set of solar arrays on the International Space Station.

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Endeavour to make another overnight stop
Cape Canaveral, Fla. (UPI) Dec 11, 2008
Space shuttle Endeavour, attached to the fuselage of a Boeing 747, will make another overnight stop Thursday, en route to Florida's Kennedy Space Center.

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