STS-134 MISSION Space Shuttle: Endeavour Primary Payload: Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer
and ELC-3 Launched:
May 16, 2011 Launch Time:
8:56 a.m. EDT Launch Pad: 39A Landing:
June 1, 2011 Landing Time:
2:35 a.m. EDT Landing Site:
Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Mission Duration:
16 days Inclination/Altitude:
51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles
Endeavour's Historic Final Flight
STS-134 Commander Mark Kelly and his crew of five blasted off Launch Pad 39A on space shuttle Endeavour from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, May 16, 2011, at 8:56 a.m. EDT.
Headed for the International Space Station, the agency's youngest shuttle made its final flight delivering the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 (AMS) and critical supplies, including two communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank and additional parts for the Dextre robot.
Pilot Greg H. Johnson, Mission Specialists Mike Fincke, Drew Feustel, Greg Chamitoff and Roberto Vittori with the European Space Agency rounded out the crew. This was the first shuttle flight for Fincke, a veteran space flier, and Vittori, who is the last international astronaut to fly aboard a shuttle.
After a two-day race to catch up to the station, Endeavour docked and the hatches were opened uniting the Expedition 27 and shuttle crews.
The complex 16-day mission, dedicated to station assembly and maintenance, included four spacewalks and the installation of AMS, which already is sending data about cosmic particles to researchers on Earth.
At 7:23 a.m. May 29, the hatches between the space station and Endeavour closed for the last time as the shuttle's crew members prepared for their return to Earth.
After a flyaround, Kelly took the controls for a test of the automated rendezvous and docking system called STORRM, which stands for Sensor Test for Orion Relative Navigation Risk Mitigation.
The payload bay doors were closed and the astronauts prepared for landing. Following a "go" for the deorbit burn from mission managers at Johnson Space Center in Houston and cooperating weather at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility, Endeavour made its final approach on the first opportunity.
Endeavour touched down on Runway 15 at 2:35 a.m. June 1, completing the STS-134 mission and marking the 24th nighttime landing in Space Shuttle Program history.
This was the 25th and final flight for Endeavour, which spent 299 days in space, orbited Earth 4,671 times and traveled 122,883,151 miles, wrapping up an illustrious spaceflight career.