The Space Shuttle Endeavour has completed its final mission, touching down at 2:35 am eastern Wednesday morning for the final time.
During the mission, the final crew for the Endeavour installed the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station. The space agency has readied Atlantis to the launch pad, as the space shuttle will be the final one to head into space. The three remaining space shuttles, Endeavour, Atlantis and Discovery as well as a fourth prototype will be shipped to museums across the country for eternity.
What a great ending to this really wonderful mission, said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations. In regard to the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, Gerstenmaier said, They're getting great data from their instrument on board the space station. It couldn't have gone any better for this mission.
Endeavour first launched in 1992. It was the replacement to the Challenger shuttle, which tragically exploded on entry in a 1986 mission, killing all six crew members instantly. The name Endeavour, chosen out of a possible 6,154 entries, was given to it after a ship chartered to traverse the South Pacific in 1768 and captained by 18th century British explorer James Cook, an experienced seaman, navigator and amateur astronomer.
All told, Endeavour 25 missions, 299 days in space, orbited Earth 4,671 times and traveled 122,883,151 miles. The space ship had 248 orbits around Earth and a journey of 6,510,221 miles. Here is a look back at some of its most memorable moments.