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The Endeavour makes its final landing at Kennedy Space Center on Wednesday. The space shuttle launched on its first mission on May 7, 1992. During its 25 flights, it spent 299 days in space and traveled more than 122.8 million miles.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bill Ingalls / NASA

The Endeavour on Wednesday completed a 16-day mission to outfit the International Space Station.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: JOE SKIPPER / Reuters

Endeavour caps its mission, bringing it a step closer to coming to Los Angeles, where it will be on display at the California Science Center.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: JOE SKIPPER / Reuters

The crew of the Endeavour, from left: European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori; pilot Gregory Johnson; commander Mark Kelly; and mission specialists Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff and Andrew Feustel.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Raoux / Pool

Endeavour Commander Mark Kelly and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden celebrate a mission accomplished.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: JOHN RAOUX / Pool

Earth's atmosphere and a starry sky are seen just off the port wing of the docked space shuttle Endeavour. The image was hotographed by the Expedition 28 crew while the shuttle was docked with the space station on the STS-134 mission. Endeavour and the STS-134 crew undocked from the station on Monday. The weather forecast looks "promising," according to NASA, for the Endeavour's nighttime landing to end its final mission, scheduled for Wednesday. The American shuttle program is readying its final launch, of the Atlantis shuttle, for July 8, before it closes down permanently, ending a 30-year program of human spaceflight and exploration.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: NASA / AFP

NASA astronaut Greg Chamitoff works on the International Space Station during a seven-hour, 24-minute spacewalk. Also on the spacewalk (visible in the reflections of Chamitoff's helmet visor)was astronaut Michael Fincke. The mission specialists added fixtures to extend the reach of the space station's robotic arm.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: NASA

A view of the Earth and sun from outside the Endeavour.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: NASA

The space shuttle Endeavour is docked at the International Space Station. The shuttle will streak across the California coastline at hypersonic velocity for the last time on Wednesday.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: NASA

The space shuttle Endeavour is seen with the International Space Station in the foreground as the orbiter approaches for docking.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: NASA

In an image from NASA video, the Endeavour docking probe, bottom, as it approaches the docking module on the Harmony node of the International Space Station.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: NASA

Space shuttle Endeavour crew members, from left, Greg Chamitoff, European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori, Michael Fincke, pilot Gregory H. Johnson, Andrew Feustel and commander Mark Kelly enjoy a meal on the mid-deck of the orbiter in this still image from NASA TV.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: NASA

Airline passenger Stefanie Gordon, who was aboard a flight from New York to Palm Beach, Fla., photographed the space shuttle Endeavor as it streaked toward orbit shortly after liftoff Monday. Gordon says she had just awakened from a nap on the flight when the pilot announced the shuttle might come into view.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Stefanie Gordon / AP

The space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from Kennedy Space Center on a 14-day mission to the international space station.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Raoux / Associated Press

Endeavour, viewed from the roof of the vehicle assembly building, lifts off from Launch Pad 39-A at Kennedy Space Center.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: GARY I ROTHSTEIN / EPA

Spectators watch as space shuttle Endeavour lifts off.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Terry Renna / Associated Press

Among the cargo on Endeavour is a $2-billion magnetic instrument that will seek out antimatter and dark energy in the universe.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: John Raoux / Associated Press

Photographers capture the moment as Endeavour pierces the clouds.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: J. David Ake / Associated Press

Joy Lewis, of Stafford, Va., holds her year-old son, Kaleb, as they watch the launch from the Rocket Garden at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Julie Fletcher / Associated Press

Jeff Barber of Virginia Beach, Va., watches from the water.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Roberto Gonzalez / Getty Images

Photographers set up cameras and tripods at sunrise to capture the launch of space shuttle Endeavour.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

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Endeavour's final flight

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Endeavour’s final flight

[Updated June 1, 2011]

Space shuttle Endeavour and its six astronauts returned to Earth on Wednesday morning, closing out the next-to-last mission in NASA’s 30-year program with a safe middle-of-the-night landing.

The space shuttle Endeavour blasted off Monday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida; it’s the final flight for Endeavour  and the next-to-last shuttle flight for NASA.  Endeavour’s commander is Mark Kelly, husband of wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was at the space center for the launch. After this flight, Endeavour will be sent to its new home at L.A.’s Exposition Park.

Read more about Endeavour closing a chapter in NASA history.

4 Comments

  1. May 16, 2011, 12:29 pm

    It's as beautiful as ever!

    By: Jill
  2. May 19, 2011, 3:53 am

    […] <img style="border-style: initial; border-color: initial; display: block; margin-bottom: 4px…Photos: Endeavour’s final flight […]

  3. May 19, 2011, 6:30 am

    That is so sad that its the Endeavour last flight into space. It is a sad time in history when our space shuttles retire. I hope they have more shuttles to come to explore the world of space. I hope everything goes all right with this mission.

    By: wtwt11
  4. June 5, 2011, 10:24 am

    What's next? No more program. will Kennedy Space Center close?

    By: galelazgaar

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