Saturday, March 28, 2009

The NASA's space shuttle

NASA's space shuttle Endeavour recently returned to the Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, after its successful mission to the International Space Station. The shuttle, being a reusable spacecraft, has a cycle of preparation, execution and recovery - Endeavour has been through this cycle 22 times now, since 1992. Here is a look at one full cycle for one space shuttle, starting with the landing of Endeavour from its previous mission (STS-123) on March 26th, and ending with its return to Florida 9 months (and 6.6 million miles) later, after mission STS-126

In the 16th night landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, space shuttle Endeavour approaches Runway 15 to end the STS-123 mission on March 26th, 2008 - a 16-day flight to the International Space Station. The mission completed nearly 6.6 million miles. The STS-123 mission had delivered the first segment of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory and the Canadian Space Agency's two-armed robotic system, known as Dextre. Endeavour will soon be transported to the Orbiter Processing Facility to ready it for its next mission, STS-126. (NASA/Tom

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