Shuttle Endeavor lands at California Air Base | spcilvly

(CNN) — The space shuttle Endeavor landed safely Sunday afternoon at Edwards Air Force Base in California after NASA ruled out two opportunities for a landing in Florida due to bad weather.

NASA opted to land the shuttle in California on Sunday due to bad weather at the Kennedy Space Center.

Endeavor will land on Sunday at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The shuttle, led by Commander Christopher Ferguson, landed at 1:25 p.m., ending a mission that lasted more than two weeks.

Wind, rain and reports of thunderstorms within 30 miles of the shuttle landing facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida led NASA to cancel landing attempts there. They were scheduled for 1:19 pm and 2:54 pm ET.

After determining that Monday’s weather forecast at Kennedy Space Center was equally unpromising, flight controllers decided they would attempt to land the shuttle and its seven astronauts at Edwards AFB, about 100 miles from Los Angeles, California, where the Sunday’s forecast was sunny.

Flight controllers prefer landings at Kennedy Space Center because of the cost and schedule. NASA has estimated that it costs about $1.7 million to bring a shuttle to the Kennedy Space Center from California. Video Watch Endeavour’s Sunday landing in California »

It also takes at least a week to prepare the shuttle for the trip, but schedule is not a major factor for Endeavor; She is not scheduled to fly again until May.

Endeavor’s 15-day mission to the international space station began Nov. 14 and included four spacewalks.

During that time, the crew brought in key pieces, including exercise equipment, more bunk beds and a urine recycling system, for a project to double the station’s capacity from three intern astronauts to six.

The recycling system was installed to convert the astronauts’ urine and sweat into drinking water.

Other modules are scheduled to arrive on a shuttle flight in February. The goal of expanding the station’s capacity to six astronauts is expected to be reached in the summer.

The crew also worked on a joint that helps generate power for the space station. Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Steve Bowen spent hours cleaning and lubricating the Solar Alpha rotating joint, which is designed to allow the solar panels on the left side of the station to rotate and follow the sun.


The astronauts also removed and replaced several bearing assemblies.

The mission went as planned, despite a minor disruption on the first spacewalk when a grease gun in Stefanyshyn-Piper’s tool bag leaked, covering the entire interior with a film of lubricant. While trying to clean it, the bag, with $100,000 worth of tools, floated away.

CNN’s Kate Tobin and Miles O’Brien contributed to this report.

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