Endeavour touched down at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida today at 11:55 a.m. central time, returning the third resident space station crew to Earth after 129 days in space.
Concluding a successful mission to the International Space Station, today's landing brings to an end a voyage of more than 4.8 million miles for Endeavour and marks the 57th shuttle landing at the Florida spaceport.
On Endeavour's flight deck are Commander Dom Gorie, Pilot Mark Kelly and Mission Specialists Linda Godwin and Dan Tani. On the middeck, strapped into recumbent chairs to reduce the effects of reentry, is the Expedition Three crew, Commander Frank Culbertson, Pilot Vladimir Dezhurov and Flight Engineer Mikhail Tyurin.
Following routine medical examinations, the STS-108 and Expedition Three crewmembers will enjoy a reunion with their families. All seven crewmembers are expected to return to a public welcome home at Hangar 990 at Houston's Ellington Field about 1 p.m. Wednesday.
During their 12 days in orbit, the STS-108 crew worked with both the returning Expedition Three and newly-arrived Expedition Four crews to transfer more than three tons of material, hardware and supplies from Endeavour to the station. Godwin and Tani also conducted a spacewalk to install thermal protection on motor assemblies that control the motion of the station's large solar arrays.
On board the International Space Station, the Expedition Four crew - Commander Yury Onufrienko and Flight Engineers Dan Bursch and Carl Walz - are settling in for a planned five-month stay on orbit, unloading the recently arrived Progress resupply vehicle.
With the conclusion of the STS-108 mission, the final International Space Station Status Report of the year will be issued Friday, December 21.
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