Endeavour landed without problems for the last time

Endeavour landed without problems for the last time

U.S. space shuttle Endeavour, with six astronauts on board, landed for the last time, as was planned and smoothly on Wednesday in Florida, according to images broadcast live by television station of NASA.

Landing gear wheels have touched the runway at Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 06.35 GMT (02.35), while the spacecraft was at a speed of 360 kilometers per hour, under a clear sky after a rapid descent that lasted 65 minutes.

Endeavour approached the runway flying over Central America, over, and then the Gulf of Mexico, before falling to Florida.

With three minutes before landing, Endeavour announced its entry into the atmosphere above the Kennedy Space Center by a double sonic boom.

After almost the entire descent was made under the automatic pilot, shuttle Endeavour commander Mark Kelly took over the manual controls of the carrier space to align with the runway. To perform the maneuver correctly, Endeavour has completed a 245-degree turn.

A few seconds before the spacecraft to reach the runway, one colored red and white parachute to open the rear brake the shuttle to landing.

Television station U.S. space agency (Nasa) has broadcast live

final maneuvers pictures, filmed at Kennedy Space Center, alternating with images transmitted from the shuttle cabin.

Endeavour has safely completed such a journey of 16 days in space, of which 12 were spent being connected to the International Space Station (ISS). This was the 25th and also last for the space shuttle Endeavour mission in the 19 years of service in the service of NASA.

Shuttle Endeavour is connected to the ISS on May 18, two days after its launch from Florida. A first launch attempt was canceled on April 29 due to electrical disturbances.

During this mission, Endeavour and its crew delivered and installed on the ISS particle detector "Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2" (AMS), a fundamental physics experiment module, built in order to decipher some of the biggest mysteries of the universe , the existence of antimatter and dark matter or nature, invisible. This area forms about 25% of the universe. This is the first time a magnetic spectrometer has been sent into space.

Spectrometer (AMS) is the result of international collaboration coordinated by Professor Samuel Ting of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Nobel laureate for physics in 1976 and initiator of this scientific project.

Endeavour crew attached to the ISS in this mission and Module Express Logistics Carrier (ELC3), a heavy container of six tons, made of aluminum with dimensions of 4 meters x 3 meters, which are stored and may have detachable parts instead of scientific experiments conducted in a vacuum.

Four orbital trip of six hours each, conducted by teams of two astronauts were made during the 12 days that Endeavour spent connected to the ISS, the mission consisted of maintenance and technical improvements to the station structure .

Endeavour was first launched in May 1992 and was built to replace Challenger, destroyed in the catastrophe of 1986.


After this mission, NASA will have available a single mission, the shuttle Atlantis, which is scheduled for release July 8, before removing from circulation space shuttle and send them in several American museums. NASA wants to save money to develop new spacecraft capable of traveling beyond the orbit of the ISS.

Endeavour will be displayed at the California Science Center in Los Angeles and Discovery, the first removed from circulation, will be displayed in an annex of the National Air and Space Museum, called the Steven Udvar-hazy Center, near Washington. The shuttle Atlantis will be exposed to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Russian space agency NASA charged with over 50 million dollars for each place on board the Soyuz capsule. On board the Soyuz capsule can pick up three astronauts.

ISS, whose construction began in 1998 and is permanently occupied since November 2000, is in orbit at an altitude of 350 kilometers, making one complete revolution around the Earth every 90 minutes, speed sailing average of 28,000 miles per hour.

ISS is a space project worth 100 billion dollars, mainly financed by the United States of America and to the 16 countries that participate.


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