Shuttle Returns to Earth

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 31, 2009 10:14 AM CDT
The space shuttle Endeavour is seen in this July 20 photo shot from inside the International Space Station.   ((AP Photo/NASA))
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Space shuttle Endeavour and its seven astronauts are back on Earth. Endeavour landed at Florida's Kennedy Space Center this morning after a 16-day mission that saw the crew complete its major construction goals at the International Space Station. Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata, back after 4½ months in space, says he can't wait to eat some sushi and see his wife and son.

Japan's space station lab got a porch for experiments during Endeavour's visit. The crew also installed fresh batteries and stockpiled big spare parts. And the voyage was eventful in other ways. The astronauts celebrated the 40th anniversary of the first moon landing with their own spacewalk. They also coped with a flooded toilet and an overheated air purifier. (Read more Space Shuttle Endeavour stories.)