landing site

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An area in which a spacecraft lands on the Earth, another planet, or a moon. On Earth, the prime landing sites for a space shuttle are Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in California and the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, from where the craft is also launched. The EAFB, which experiences better weather conditions and has concrete and dry lake-bed runways, is preferred when a payload makes the shuttle heavier than normal. Landing at the KSC, however, saves around US$1 million as well as up to seven days of processing, because the shuttle does not have to be returned to Florida. The Pacific Ocean was chosen as the Apollo landing site and is often used for deactivated, uncrewed satellites. The Russian space station Mir was also brought down into the Pacific Ocean, on 23 March 2001.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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