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Archive for Monday, May 25, 2009

Atlantis, crew land after Hubble mission

May 25, 2009

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Space shuttle Atlantis and its seven astronauts returned safely to Earth on Sunday, detouring from stormy Florida to sunsplashed California to end a 13-day mission that repaired and enhanced the Hubble Space Telescope.

Atlantis’ crew had waited since Friday for the go-ahead to land as Mission Control hoped to avoid the time and expense — about $1.8 million — of diverting to California’s Edwards Air Force Base.

The Florida weather refused to yield and Mission Control finally directed shuttle commander Scott Altman to head to California. The shuttle’s twin sonic booms rocked the Mojave Desert as it swooped out of a dazzling morning sky.

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