Shuttle, 7 astronauts back on Earth

The space shuttle Atlantis landed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday morning to wrap up its 11-day flight.

The space shuttle Atlantis landed at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Friday morning to wrap up an 11-day flight.

Space shuttle Atlantis lands in Florida. ((NASA))
Atlantis spent a week docked in orbit with the International Space Station. The crew delivered spare parts and performed maintenance that NASA says will keep the space station running for five to 10 years.

Atlantis's six-person crew returned with astronaut Nicole Stott, who was in space for 91 days as part of the ISS crew.

Shuttle astronaut Randolph Bresnik will get to meet his new baby daughter, born last weekend just after his first spacewalk.

This was the second-to-last mission for Atlantis, which has its final mission scheduled for next year.

Only five shuttle flights remain, all of them construction missions to the station.

In February, Endeavour will deliver a new module to the station that includes a domed chamber with seven windows, offering an excellent view of the Earth.

Meanwhile, the five astronauts remaining on the station, including Canadian Bob Thirsk, may have to dodge a 10-year-old piece of space junk this weekend.

NASA flight controllers are monitoring a piece of a Delta rocket that launched the Stardust spacecraft in 1999. The space junk could pass within 10 kilometres of the station Saturday afternoon.

An Atlanis crew member took this shot of the International Space Station against the Earth's horizon after the shuttle and station undocked Wednesday. ((NASA/Associated Press))