Space Shuttle Endeavour launches for final time
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
The International Space Station (ISS).launched on its final mission, , at 8:56 AM Monday. The mission's primary objectives are to deliver and , as well as other materials and supplies, to the
The shuttle launched from the Florida with six crewmembers aboard, including mission commander , pilot , and mission specialists , , and .in
The shuttle is scheduled to arrive and dock with the ISS on Wednesday morning (EDT) to begin a two-week stay aboard the orbiting laboratory. While aboard the station, the crew is scheduled to perform four, or spacewalks, to install components to the exterior of the ISS.
Endeavour is scheduled to land for the final time on June 1st.
The launch was originally scheduled for April 29, but was delayed hours before the launch after the discovery of a technical problem that required that the launch be scrubbed in order to be fixed.
Before liftoff, commander Mark Kelly shared his thoughts on the mission: "As Americans, we endeavour to build a better life than the generation before and endeavour to be a united nation. In those efforts we are often tested. This mission represents the power of teamwork, commitment and exploration. It is in the DNA of our country to reach for the stars and explore. We must not stop."
Approximately 500,000 spectators came to Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the launch, but a passenger aboard a commercial flight from New York to Palm Beach, Stefanie Gordon, obtained video from her seat on the airplane.
STS-134 is the 25th and final mission of the Space Shuttle Endeavour, and the 134th and penultimate mission of the NASA's youngest space shuttle, was originally built to replace the after the 1986 that killed its seven crewmembers during the ill-fated launch of the mission. Endeavour's first flight was in May 1992.. Endeavour,
There is only one scheduled shuttle mission remaining after STS-134, which will be. That mission, using , is currently scheduled for a July launch.
"Today's final launch of Endeavour is a testament to American ingenuity and leadership in human spaceflight," commented NASA Administrator, who is a former astronaut and veteran of four spaceflights himself. "As we look toward a bright future with the International Space Station as our anchor and new destinations in deep space on the horizon, we salute the astronauts and ground crews who have ensured the orbiter's successful missions. The presence of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at the launch inspired us all, just as America's space program has done for the past 50 years."
- Chris McGreal. "Space shuttle Endeavour blasts off one last time" — , May 16, 2011
- Ned Potter. "Sweet Goodbye: Mark Kelly Launches in Space Shuttle as Gabrielle Giffords Watches" — , May 16, 2011
- Kate Auletta. "Space Shuttle Endeavor Launch: Passenger On Commercial Flight Takes Photos, Video of Launch" — , May 16, 2011
- Joshua Buck and Candrea Thomas. "NASA's Shuttle Endeavour Heads To Space Station On Its Final Mission" — , May 16, 2011
- Justin Ray. "Mission Status Center" — , May 16, 2011
- "Space Shuttle Endeavour Begins Mission" — , May 16, 2011
- "STS-134 Mission Overview" — , May 16, 2011
- "Charles Bolden Biography" — , September 2009