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Astronauts wrap up mission to station

CAPE CANAVERAL — Endeavour's astronauts took care of some last-minute space station chores Saturday before packing up to come home and end the next-to-last shuttle flight.

The space shuttle and its crew of six will depart the International Space Station late tonight. They worked to repair one of the space station's air purifiers and straightened out the suits that were used in four space walks. The final space walk of the mission, on Friday, completed the U.S. portion of station construction.

Now that the space walks are over, Mission Control told the astronauts they "can bask in the glow of a job well done." The astronauts installed a $2 billion physics experiment at the orbiting outpost, as well as an extension pole and a platform full of spare parts.

Endeavour is scheduled to return to Florida before dawn Wednesday, 16 days after blasting off.

This is the final voyage of Endeavour, the youngest in the shuttle fleet. NASA is closing down the shuttle program this summer after 30 years. Atlantis will fly one last time to the space station in July.

Astronauts wrap up mission to station 05/28/11 [Last modified: Saturday, May 28, 2011 9:12pm]
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