Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Endeavour Astronauts Bask In Mission Success

The Endeavour astronauts are basking in the glow of mission success this morning after winding up a spectacular flight with the 25th and final landing of the orbiter NASA built to replace Challenger.

"It's great to be back here at the Kennedy Space Center. It's great to bring Endeavour back in great shape. Looks like it's ready to go do another mission. But this is going to be the last flight," mission commander Mark Kelly told a NASA TV audience after inspecting the spaceship on Runway 15 at Kennedy Space Center.

Kelly guided the shuttle to a safe landing at 2:35 a.m., and after initial post-flight medical checks, the astronauts surveyed their orbiter on the runway -- a traditional post-landing walk-around of the vehicle.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and a host of other NASA officials were there to greet the crew.

Mission specialist Greg Chamitoff was having a bit of difficulty walking and his crewmates helped support him during the walk-around and the short statement made by Kelly.

It's not unusual for astronauts to be a little lightheaded, or for it to take them awhile to get their land-legs back after long stays in weightlessness.

A post-landing news conference will be coming up soon on NASA TV.

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