Space Shuttle Endeavour Makes Final Landing At Night
Did you see Endeavour’s final landing? As KING FM’s “Special Space Correspondent” I forced myself to stay up late and cover the event.
Space Shuttle Endeavour returned with it’s six-astonaut crew in a middle-of-the-night landing at Cape Canaveral this morning.
It was the 25th night landing out of the 134 shuttle flights and wrapped up the next-to-last mission for the 30-year-old NASA program.
Commander Mark Kelly guided Endeavour onto the runway just as Atlantis, the last shuttle bound for space, arrived at the launch pad for the grand finale blast off in five weeks.
The four-member-crew of Atlantis were among the thousands of employees and family members who lined the route to the launch pad as the space shuttle crept out of the Vehicle Assembly Building just after sunset Tuesday to get ready for it’s July 8th lift off.
Endeavour was the youngest of the shuttle fleet, built to replace the destroyed shuttle Challenger, it’s first flight was in 1992. During it’s 19 years, Endeavour carried 170 crew members on 25 flights up for 299 days in space, completed 4,671 orbits of the Earth and logged nearly 123-million miles.
Endeavour is the second space shuttle to be retired and once it’s decommissioned it heads to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.
The shuttle Discovery was retired in March and will end up on display at the Smithsonian Institution hanger outside of Washington, D. C.