Shuttle Endeavour lands at California air base


(CNN) – Space shuttle Endeavor landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Sunday afternoon after NASA canceled two Florida landing opportunities due to bad weather.

Endeavor proceeds to land at Edwards Air Force Base in California on Sunday.

The shuttle, piloted by Commander Christopher Ferguson, landed at 1:25 p.m., ending a mission that lasted more than two weeks.

Reports of wind, rain and thunderstorms within 30 miles of the Shuttle Landing Facility at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center prompted NASA to cancel landing attempts there. They were scheduled for 1:19 pm and 2:54 pm ET.

After determining Monday’s weather forecast at Kennedy Space Center, flight controllers decided they would attempt to land the shuttle and its seven astronauts at Edwards AFB, about 100 miles from Los Angeles, California, where Sunday’s forecast It was sunny.

Flight controllers prefer to land at Kennedy Space Center due to cost and scheduling. NASA estimates that it will cost about $1.7 million to bring the shuttle home from California to the Kennedy Space Center. video Watch Sunday’s landing of Endeavor in California »

It also takes at least a week for the shuttle to be ready for the trip, but scheduling is not a major factor for Endeavour; It is not scheduled to fly again until May.

Endeavor’s 15-day mission to the International Space Station began on November 14 and consisted of four spacewalks.

During that time, the crew brought in key pieces — including exercise equipment, more sleeping berths and a urine recycling system — for the project to double the station’s capacity from three internal astronauts to six.

A recycling system was installed to convert astronauts’ urine and sweat into drinking water.

More modules are scheduled to arrive on a February shuttle flight. The goal of increasing the station’s capacity to six astronauts is expected to be reached by summer.

The crew also worked on a composite that helps generate electricity for the space station. Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Steve Bowen spent hours cleaning and lubricating the Solar Alpha rotary joint, which is designed to rotate and track the Sun’s solar panels on the left side of the station.


The astronauts also removed and replaced several trundle bearing assemblies.

Despite a minor setback on the first spacewalk, when a grease gun leaked in Stefanyshyn-Piper’s tool bag, the mission went according to plan, coating everything with a film of lubricant. As she was trying to clean it, the bag — with $100,000 worth of tools — blew away.

CNN’s Kate Tobin and Miles O’Brien contributed to this report.

About all Space Shuttle Endeavor • NASA • Kennedy Space Center

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