The US space shuttle Endeavour unlocked from the International Space Station and headed back to Earth on Monday, wrapping up its final journey before entering retirement, NASA said.
Endeavour’s last mission is the penultimate flight for the 30-year-old US shuttle program, which will end for good after the Atlantis mission to the orbiting research lab, scheduled to begin July 8.
During nearly 11 days at the space station, the crew delivered and installed a massive physics experiment, the Alpha-Magnetic Spectrometer-2, which will be left at the space station to search the universe for clues about dark matter and antimatter.
They also brought up a logistics carrier with spare parts and performed some maintenance and installation work during four spacewalks, the last to be carried out by an American shuttle crew.
A spacewalk is planned during Atlantis’s mission in July but it will be done by space station crew, not astronauts who arrive aboard the US shuttle.
Endeavour is scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center at 2:35 am (0635 GMT) on Wednesday.