Endeavour astronaut Philippe Perrin completed the last major task of the STS-111 mission today when he successfully returned the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module to the shuttle's payload bay at 3:11 p.m. Central.
Leonardo brought a total of 8,062 pounds of supplies and equipment to the space station, including a new science rack to house microgravity experiments and a glovebox that will allow station crews to conduct experiments that require isolation. More than 1,000 pounds of equipment was also brought to the station on Endeavour's middeck.
In addition to carrying home the results of several science experiments, Leonardo is returning to Earth with 4,667 pounds of equipment and supplies that are no longer needed aboard the station. More than 1,000 pounds of equipment also will be returned to Earth in Endeavour's middeck.
Endeavour's steering jets were used today to raise the station's altitude by an additional four miles, the third and final reboost of the mission. Together, the three reboosts raised the altitude of the station by approximately six miles.
Early Saturday morning, about 6:30 central time, following final goodbyes, the hatches between the two spacecraft will swing shut. About three hours later, the crew of Endeavour - Ken Cockrell, Paul Lockhart, Franklin Chang-Díaz, Perrin, Dan Bursch, Yury Onufrienko and Carl Walz - will depart the space station, leaving the Expedition Five crew - Commander Valery Korzun and Flight Engineers Peggy Whitson and Sergei Treschev - to begin their 4½ -month mission of continued station growth and scientific research.
All systems on both Endeavour and the International Space Station continue to function normally as the two craft orbit the Earth every 90 minutes at an altitude of 240 statute miles.