At 2:34 am this morning, the space shuttle Endeavour's main gear successfully touched down at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew completed a 16-day mission servicing the International Space Station, totaling up 248 orbits around the Earth, four space walks, and successfully installing a $2 billion dollar cosmic ray detector. They also managed to juggle several live interviews from space and a serenade by amateur musicians from a NASA American Idol-style contest.
Upon landing, Commander Mark Kelly thanked mission staff and had this to say about the Endeavour: "It is sad to see her land for the last time, but she really has a great legacy." The space shuttle's landing marks the second-to-last mission for the entire program. The public will view one final blast off when the Atlantis, now currently on the launch pad, takes to the skies on July 8th.
Here's NASA's official, night-vision footage of the Endeavour's final descent:
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