Endeavour glided to a perfect landing under blue California skies at Edwards Air Force Base today, completing a successful 5.78-million-mile mission to the International Space Station.
Endeavour touched down on Edwards’ concrete runway at 12:58 p.m. CDT (10:58 a.m. PDT), concluding a record 196-day stay in space for Expedition 4 crewmembers Yury Onufrienko, Carl Walz and Dan Bursch. The STS-111 flight of Endeavour delivered the Expedition 5 crew – Commander Valery Korzun, Astronaut Peggy Whitson and Cosmonaut Sergei Treschev – to the International Space Station. In addition, the shuttle carried more than 9,000 pounds of equipment and supplies to the station and the crew conducted three spacewalks to expand the station’s capabilities.
Endeavour traveled 5,781,115 statute miles since its June 5 launch from KSC’s Pad 39A. Today’s landing followed weather-related wave-offs on Monday, Tuesday and today because of rain showers, thunderstorms and cloud cover in the area of the Kennedy Space Center, the primary shuttle landing site.
The STS-111 and Expedition 4 astronauts will return to a welcoming ceremony at Ellington Field’s Hangar 990 in Houston near the Johnson Space Center around 3 p.m. Central time Friday, June 21. The public is invited.
Meanwhile aboard the International Space Station, the Expedition 5 crew continues to settle into its new home with Whitson beginning investigations with a cell culture experiment today.
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