Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Wed, 01 Jun 2011 09:25:40 AM EDT
Space shuttle Endeavour completed its final flight by delivering the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station during the STS-134 mission.
“I think we all should be really impressed how big and magnificent that space station is,” said STS-134 Mission Specialist Mike Fincke at the crew press conference following landing. Describing their parting view of the space station where he served once as crew and once as commander, he said, “We were impressed; we were excited like five-year olds at a rollercoaster park.”
“What a great ending to this really wonderful mission,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations. In regard to the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, 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 landed at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center after 248 orbits around Earth and a journey of 6,510,221 miles. The STS-134 mission was the 25th and final flight for Endeavour, which spent a total of 299 days in space, orbited Earth 4,671 times and traveled 122,883,151 miles.
Also overnight, space shuttle Atlantis 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 Tuesday 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.