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Sun, May 24, 2009

STS-125 Home! FL WX Requires Edwards Landing

Amazing Mission Comes To End On RWY 22

What a rush! One of the most aggressive missions in NASA history is now over, as the crew of STS-125 made a safe and pretty good-looking landing on RWY 22 at Edwards AFB, with 15-21 knot winds coming at them right down the runway some 12 days and nearly 22 hours after they started their journey. The trip covered some 5.3 million miles, overall and was completed at 11:40:15 AM EDT.

After waving off the first attempt, NASA cleared Atlantis for landing in the California Desert at 10:09:55 AM EDT. The burn began at 10:24 a.m., with the two OMS engines burning for 2 minutes and 36 seconds to put them into a re-entry profile for the return home.

Upon wheel stop, Commander Scott Altman told mission control that the mission had been "a thrill from start to finish."
 
Atlantis arrived at the Hubble Space Telescope on May 13, and the STS-125 crew performed five spacewalks on five consecutive days to repair and upgrade the telescope.

The last space shuttle mission to end at Edwards was STS-126 on Nov. 30, 2008. That mission was commanded by astronaut Chris Ferguson.

Today, Ferguson flew the Shuttle Training Aircraft as he monitored the weather conditions at Edwards and cleared the way home for Atlantis.

Offical Landing Stats: Main gear touchdown occurred at 11:39:05 a.m., followed by nose gear touchdown at 11:39:15 a.m. and wheelstop at 11:40:15 a.m.

Main gear touchdown took place at 12 days, 21 hours, 37 minutes and 9 seconds into the flight, followed by nose gear touchdown at 12 days, 21 hours, 37 minutes and 19 seconds and wheelstop at 12 days, 21 hours, 38 minutes and 19 seconds. This was the 126th space shuttle mission and the 30th flight for Atlantis. Today's landing is the 53rd at Edwards.

FMI: www.nasa.gov

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