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Space shuttle Endeavour headed home

The crew of the space shuttle Endeavour bid farewell to their colleagues on the International Space Station on Tuesday to head back to Earth. The space shuttle undocked at 1726 GMT, carrying its seven-member crew after 10 days, 23 hours and 39 minutes at the ISS. Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata is to return to Earth aboard Endeavour after spending four months as a long-term ISS crew member.

world Updated: Jul 29, 2009 01:15 IST

The crew of the space shuttle Endeavour bid farewell to their colleagues on the International Space Station on Tuesday to head back to Earth.

The space shuttle undocked at 1726 GMT, carrying its seven-member crew after 10 days, 23 hours and 39 minutes at the ISS. Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata is to return to Earth aboard Endeavour after spending four months as a long-term ISS crew member. US astronaut Tim Kopra is replacing Wakata on the six-member ISS permanent crew.

The ISS crew rang the traditional bells to mark the departure of the Endeavour crew and Wakata.

The Endeavour brought an external platform to the station that was installed on the Japanese Kibo laboratory during the first of the mission's five spacewalks. The porch will expose experiments to the extremities of space.

The mission also saw robotic work to install experiments on the new porch and spacewalks to replace batteries on one of the station's solar panels.

Endeavour is scheduled to land at the Kennedy Space Centre in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Friday.

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