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Space shuttle touches down safely

Published 01/08/2009

The space shuttle Endeavour has safely landed at Florida's Kennedy Space Center, ending a 16-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

The seven-strong crew touched down at 3.48pm yesterday in near perfect weather conditions.

During the mission, the combined shuttle and ISS crews set a new record of 13 people on the orbiting outpost.

Nasa plans seven more shuttle missions to complete construction of the space station by the end of 2010.

Endeavour blasted off on July 15 with its crew of seven astronauts after weather concerns scuppered five launch attempts.

The ISS, now about the size of a four-bedroom house, has been under construction for more than a decade. Endeavour's crew delivered and installed fresh batteries, large spare parts and a “porch” for Japan's $1bn Kibo science laboratory. This addition to the onboard lab is designed to hold outdoor experiments.

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From Belfast Telegraph