Endeavour Crew Returns Home After Successful Mission

Mar 27, 2008
Endeavour Crew Returns Home After Successful Mission
The STS-123 crew members pose for a final photo under shuttle Endeavour after landing at Kennedy. From left are Mission Specialists Takao Doi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Robert L. Behnken, and Rick Linnehan; Pilot Gregory H. Johnson; Commander Dominic Gorie; and Mission Specialist Mike Foreman. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

After 16 days in space and 250 orbits of the Earth, space shuttle Endeavour touched down at 8:39 p.m. EDT Wednesday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, bringing the STS-123 mission to a flawless end.

Space shuttle Endeavour and its crew landed at 8:39 p.m. EDT Wednesday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., after completing a 16-day journey of nearly 6.6 million miles in space. The first landing attempt at Kennedy was bypassed due to low clouds in the area.

Endeavour's flight was the longest shuttle mission to the International Space Station and included a record five spacewalks. The shuttle's seven astronauts worked with the three-member station crew and ground teams around the world to install the first section of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory and the Canadian Space Agency's two-armed robotic system, known as Dextre.

"The success of this mission makes the International Space Station truly international," said NASA Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier. "Japan is now a full-time participant, controlling the Kibo module from its center near Tokyo. We have teams working around the clock in the United States, Russia, Germany and Japan overseeing the crew's work and various elements of station. With the ATV scheduled to dock next week, Dextre ready to go, our partners' modules operating, and the next Soyuz preparing to launch, it's an exciting time to be in the space business."

Dominic Gorie commanded the STS-123 flight and was joined by Pilot Gregory H. Johnson, Mission Specialists Robert L. Behnken, Mike Foreman, Rick Linnehan, Garrett Reisman and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Takao Doi. Reisman remained aboard the space station, replacing Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Leopold Eyharts, who returned to Earth on Endeavour after living on the outpost since early February. Reisman will return on shuttle Discovery's STS-124 mission, targeted to launch May 25.

With Endeavour and its crew safely home, the stage is set for the next phase of station assembly. The STS-124 mission is the second of three flights that will launch components to complete the Japanese Kibo laboratory. Shuttle Discovery will deliver Kibo's large pressurized module and robotics system to the station.

The European Space Agency's Automated Transfer Vehicle, or ATV, is scheduled to dock with the space station on April 3. Russia's Soyuz TMA-12 will launch the Expedition 17 crew to the station on April 8.

Source: NASA

Explore further: Total lunar eclipse before dawn on April 4th

Related Stories

Feud on Earth but peace in space for US and Russia

Mar 26, 2015

Hundreds of kilometres below on Earth, their governments are locked in a standoff over Ukraine—but up in space, Russian cosmonauts and American astronauts are still working together side by side.

Image: The colors of sunset over the ISS

Mar 26, 2015

ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti took these images from the International Space Station during her six-month mission. The Progress cargo ship and Soyuz crew spacecraft reflect sunlight as our star sets ...

Russian, American ready for a year in space

Mar 26, 2015

The Russian astronaut heading off for a year in space says he'll miss the natural landscapes on Earth. His American counterpart jokes he won't miss his twin brother.

Image: Launch of first crewed Gemini flight

Mar 24, 2015

In a span of 20 months from March 1965 to November 1966, NASA developed, tested and flew transformative capabilities and cutting-edge technologies in the Gemini program that paved the way for not only Apollo, ...

Recommended for you

Total lunar eclipse before dawn on April 4th

7 hours ago

An unusually brief total eclipse of the Moon will be visible before dawn this Saturday, April 4th, from western North America. The eclipse happens on Saturday evening for Australia and East Asia.

Cassini: Return to Rhea

19 hours ago

After a couple of years in high-inclination orbits that limited its ability to encounter Saturn's moons, NASA's Cassini spacecraft returned to Saturn's equatorial plane in March 2015.

Comet dust—planet Mercury's 'invisible paint'

Mar 30, 2015

A team of scientists has a new explanation for the planet Mercury's dark, barely reflective surface. In a paper published in Nature Geoscience, the researchers suggest that a steady dusting of carbon from p ...

It's 'full spin ahead' for NASA soil moisture mapper

Mar 30, 2015

The 20-foot (6-meter) "golden lasso" reflector antenna atop NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory is now ready to wrangle up high-resolution global soil moisture data, following the successful ...

What drives the solar cycle?

Mar 30, 2015

You can be thankful that we bask in the glow of a relatively placid star. Currently about halfway along its 10 billion year career on the Main Sequence, our sun fuses hydrogen into helium in a battle against ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.