Shuttle Endeavour returns after final mission The space shuttle Endeavour touched down at its Florida home base early on Wednesday, capping a 16-day mission to deliver a premier science experiment to the International Space Station on NASA’s next-to-last shuttle flight.
“Your landing ends a vibrant legacy for this amazing vehicle that will long be remembered. Welcome home, Endeavour,” astronaut Barry Wilmore radioed to Kelly from NASA’s Mission Control in Houston.
“It really is an incredible ship,” Commander Scott Kelly replied. “It’s sad to see her land for the last time but she really has a great legacy.”
Photo: Space Shuttle Endeavour is escorted back to a storage building following it’s last mission before being retired, at Kennedy Space Center, on June 1, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Roberto Gonzalez/Getty Images)
Photos of the day, May 27, 2011 Space shuttle Endeavour Commander Mark Kelly (L) and station flight engineer Ron Garan can be seen in the window of the International Space Station’s cupola in this photo taken by spacewalking astronaut Mike Fincke, May 26, 2011. (REUTERS/NASA/Handout)
May 1989: Endeavour was the first shuttle to have its name chosen in a national contest, run in elementary schools across the United States. Its name was revealed by President George Bush. The shuttle was commissioned to replace the space shuttle Challenger which exploded shortly after launch in 1986.
Photo: NASA space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on May 16, 2011 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)