Endeavour lands in Florida
Space Shuttle Endeavour safely returned to Earth at 18:32 CEST (12:32 Florida time) this evening. The landing marks the end of a successful mission to the International Space Station.
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Endeavour touched down on runway 33 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre, Florida, bringing an end to the STS-118 mission, which delivered a new truss segment to the International Space Station (ISS), as well as goods and equipment.
During their stay at the Station, the astronauts conducted four spacewalks to continue assembly and repair work at the Station. The crew’s major tasks included the installation of the S5 truss, replacement of a faulty attitude control gyroscope and preparations for assembly work by future crews - including the addition of the Italian-built Node 2 connecting module and Europe's Columbus laboratory.
The mission 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.
Future Shuttle missions for ESA astronauts
The STS-120 mission with ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli, which will also carry the Italian-built Node 2 connecting module into orbit, is scheduled to depart on 23 October 2007.
Flight STS-122, which will be carrying ESA’s Columbus laboratory, is due for launch on 6 December 2007. The crew of the STS-122 mission will include ESA astronauts Hans Schlegel and Leopold Eyharts. Schlegel will return to Earth on the return-leg of the STS-122 mission.
Eyharts will fly onboard the International Space Station as a member of the Expedition 16 crew during the commissioning of the Columbus laboratory. He will return home with the STS-123 crew some two months later.