March 26, 2008
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
NASA’S SHUTTLE CREW RETURNS HOME AFTER SUCCESSFUL MISSION
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - 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
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 the 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.
STS-123 was the 122nd space shuttle flight, the 21st flight for
shuttle Endeavour and the 25th shuttle flight to the station. For
more about the STS-123 mission and the upcoming STS-124 mission,
For more about the International Space Station, visit: