Shuttle Endeavor lands at California Air Force Base

(CNN) — Space Shuttle Endeavor landed safely Sunday afternoon at Edwards Air Force Base in California after NASA rejected two landing opportunities in Florida due to bad weather.

On Sunday, Endeavor lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

The shuttle, flown by Commander Christopher Ferguson, landed at 1:25 p.m., ending a mission that had lasted over two weeks.

Wind, rain and reports of thunderstorms within 30 miles of the shuttle landing site at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida prompted NASA to cancel landing attempts there. They were scheduled for 13:19 and 14:54 ET.

After Monday’s weather forecast at Kennedy Space Center was equally unpromising, air traffic controllers decided they would try to land the shuttle and its seven astronauts at Edwards Air Force Base, about 100 miles from Los Angeles, California, where Sunday’s forecast was sunny.

Flight controllers prefer to land at the Kennedy Space Center due to cost and schedule. NASA has estimated that it costs about $1.7 million to bring the shuttle home to the Kennedy Space Center from California. video Watch Endeavor California Landing Sunday »

It also takes at least a week to get the shuttle ready for the trip, but schedule is not a major factor for Endeavor; he does not plan to fly again until May.

TryThe 15-day mission to the International Space Station began on November 14 and included four spacewalks.

During this time, the crew brought in key items, including simulators, extra beds and a urine recirculation system, for a project to double the station’s capacity from three full-time astronauts to six.

A recycling system was installed to turn the astronauts’ urine and sweat into drinking water.

The other modules are scheduled to arrive by shuttle in February. It is expected that the goal of increasing the capacity of the station to six astronauts will be achieved by 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 pivot, which is designed to keep the solar panels on the station’s left side spinning and following the sun.


The astronauts also removed and replaced several rolling bearings.

The mission went according to plan, despite a slight hitch during the first spacewalk when the grease in Stefanyshyn-Piper’s tool bag leaked, covering everything inside with a film of grease. While she was trying to put it away, a $100,000 bag of tools floated away.

Keith Tobin and Miles O’Brien of CNN contributed to this report.

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