The U.S. space shuttle Endeavour has finally returned a record-breaking international space station crew to Earth.
U.S. astronauts Dan Bursch and Carl Walz and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Onufrienko are feeling the pull of gravity for the first time since arriving at the station in December.
They face months of physical rehabilitation to strengthen muscles and bones weakened by weightlessness.
The trio returned aboard Endeavour to Edwards Air Force Base, California, having been replaced aboard the station by a new U.S.-Russian team.
For two days, bad weather kept the shuttle away from its normal landing site across the continent at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it was launched. This extended the U.S. space endurance record set by astronauts Bursch and Walz, who logged 196 days in orbit.
While Endeavour visited the station, its crew members performed three spacewalks to replace a failed joint on the outpost's robot arm. They also installed a platform for the arm on a railcar so the arm can move from one end of the space station to the other.