Space shuttle Endeavour returns to Earth
With reverberating sonic booms, the Space Shuttle Endeavour has returned to Earth after an eventful assignment to fix parts of the International Space Station (ISS), BBC news reported on its website.
Navy Capt. Christopher J. Ferguson, the shuttle commander, skillfully guided Endeavour to a safe touch down Sunday at California’s Edwards Air Force Base.
The original plan was to land the orbiter at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but because of storms that brought high winds, NASA ordered the astronauts to take a detour and land in sunny California.
The seven astronauts on the space shuttle conducted four spacewalks, making repairs to improve the station’s collection of solar power. The station was also expanded to house larger crews in the future.
Inside the station, ISS commander Mike Fincke supervised work on the malfunctioning water regeneration system which distils, filters, ionises and oxidises wastewater – including urine – into fresh water.
“Welcome back. That was a great way to finish a fantastic flight,” Mission Control radioed.
“And we’re happy to be here in California,” Commander Ferguson replied.