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Endeavour returns from last mission

SPACE shuttle Endeavour landed for the final time at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center after 248 orbits around Earth and a journey of 6,510,221 miles on STS-134.

“What a great ending to this really wonderful mission,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operation. In regard to the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer delivered by the STS-134 crew, Gerstenmaier said, “They’re getting great data from their instrument on board the space station. It couldn’t have gone any better for this mission.”

“We’ve had a lot going on here,” said Mike Moses, space shuttle launch integration manager, “Being able to send Atlantis out to the pad and then go out and land Endeavour was really a combination I never expected to have.”

Mike Leinbach, space shuttle launch director, added, “It’s been a great morning at the Kennedy Space Center.”

Endeavour’s main gear touched down at 2:34:51 a.m. followed by the nose gear at 2:35:04 and wheels stop at 2:35:36 a.m. STS-134 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.

Space shuttle Atlantis just completed its 3.4 mile trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A and was secured to the launch pad at 3:29 a.m. The move began last night at 8:42 p.m. and took approximately 7 hours.

The crew members for space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-134 mission were Commander Mark Kelly, Pilot Gregory H. Johnson and Mission Specialists Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori.

During the 16-day mission, Endeavour and its crew delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) and spare parts including two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank and additional spare parts for Dextre.

A vapor trail follows space shuttle Endeavour as it approaches Runway 15 on the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida-1. Photo: NASA

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