Endeavour Sets Off For Final Trip Home.
The shuttle undocked at 11:55 p.m. EDT Sunday, after a stay of 11 days, 17 hours and 41 minutes at the orbiting laboratory. During the stay, the Endeavour crew installed $2 billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer particle physics detector<strong>. </strong>
As Endeavour was leaving the ISS, mission commander Mark Kelly was able to see the newly installed radioed mission control Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer particle physics detector<strong> </strong>and said, "It's a new day for science on the space station."
Along with delivering the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), the Endeavour crew also installed spare parts including two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank and additional spare parts for Dextre to the ISS.
After leaving the ISS, Kelly took the controls for a test of an automated rendezvous and docking system called STORRM, for Sensor Test for Orion Relative Navigation Risk Mitigation. This involved Endeavour moving about 20,000 feet above and behind the station, then to a point below and behind it. Kelly then maneuvered the shuttle on a rendezvous-like course, winding up at a point about 950 feet below the station. NASA says the test produced good data.
As for the rest of its time, crew members will participate in interviews with ABC News, CBS News, CNN, NBC News, and Fox News Radio. They will then prepare for re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere by checking out the flight and reaction control systems.
Landing is scheduled for 2:35 a.m. on Wednesday at Kennedy Space Center, which will be the final time it lands on Earth. Once its done for good, Endeavour will retire to the California Space Center, in the same state where it was once built.
Follow Gabriel Perna on <a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/topics/detail/368/twitter">Twitter</a> at <a href="http://twitter.com/#%21/GabrielSPerna" target="_blank">@GabrielSPerna</a>
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|Publication:||International Business Times - US ed.|
|Date:||May 30, 2011|
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