November 27, 2009 / 1:44 PM / 9 years ago

Space shuttle Atlantis begins trip back to Earth

The International Space Station is visible against the Earth's horizon and the blackness of space in this image photographed by an STS-129 crew member on Atlantis November 25, 2009 after the station and shuttle undocked in this photo released by NASA.REUTERS/NASA Handout

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Astronauts aboard space shuttle Atlantis fired their ship’s braking rockets on Friday to leave orbit and begin the return to Earth after an 11-day mission to deliver spare parts to the International Space Station.

Atlantis was scheduled to land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9:44 a.m. EST.

Reporting by Irene Klotz, editing by Jim Loney

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