NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis Lands Safely At Edwards Air Force Base In California

Monday, May 25, 2009

NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis Edwards Air Force Base In CaliforniaFinally, on sunday may 24, at 11:39 a.m.EDT, space shuttle Atlantis with the STS-125 astronauts landed safely on runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base in California, closing its bold mission to perform routine repairs and replace key instruments of the Hubble Space Telescope for the final time.

Previously, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) officials have postponed the space shuttle Atlantis landing until Saturday due to bad weather concerns. On its official web site, NASA mentioned that The first opportunity to land the Atlantis space shuttle at Florida's Kennedy Space Center will be at 9:16 a.m. ET Saturday 23 / 5 / 2009.

Space shuttle Atlantis launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 11. During the 13-day mission, astronauts performed five challenging spacewalks over five consecutive days, improving Hubble's discovery power and extending the 19-year-old observatory's lifespan by at least five more years.

According to the NASA statement, the Hubble Space Telescope was rejuvenated with new instruments designed to make some improvements of its capabilities by as much as 70 times, while extending its lifetime through at least 2014.

Ed Weiler, associate administrator for science at NASA headquarters, said in the statement, "This is not the end of the story but the beginning of another chapter of discovery by Hubble, Hubble will be more powerful than ever, continue to surprise, enlighten and inspire us all, and pave the way for the next generation of observatories."

Hubble, which has been in space for nearly two decades, can capture clear images that telescopes on Earth cannot, partly because it does not have to gaze through murky atmospheres.
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