Monday, May 16, 2011

Successful Endeavour Launch


Space Shuttle Endeavour successfully lifted off into space this morning from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This is the shuttle's final mission (STS-134), led by mission commander Mark Kelly. The crew will be delivering the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station, among other science projects and spare parts.

You can watch the launch below (I attempted to embed the code from NASA's website, if it doesn't work, watch it here):



After nearly a month long delay due to a heater malfunction, the launch went flawlessly. Endeavour is the youngest of the shuttles, built to replace the Challenger, which was tragically lost in a 1986 launch accident. Endeavour saw it's first flight in 1992, almost exactly 19 years ago. After almost two decades of service, the heater malfunction shows Endeavour age and the need for replacements. The other shuttles have been in service for over 30 years.

After Endeavour's final 16-day mission is complete, the shuttle will be cleaned and prepared for public display at the California Science Center, a museum in Los Angeles. The final planned shuttle mission will be STS-135, the final voyage of Atlantis, scheduled for mid-July.


36 comments:

PeaceLoveandSharpies said...

I can never understand why rockets terrify me so much... >.<

Atley said...

how I would love to go into space. If I become a Billion dollar man I'm so going ! Also, is'nt NASA out of contract , or something? they are no longer in business?

thenitefalls said...

I hope to witness this in person, I'll be listening to Space Oddity while it lifts off haha

Dave said...

The Shuttle is a beautiful design. I would love to go up in one.

Melanie said...

YAY!!

ScottD said...

so long

Layman Researcher said...

Great news. Good luck to the Endeavor on its final mission.

Toto said...

awesome! :)

Dejch said...

wow another space mission

BigMike said...

I can not believe that we don't have a replacement in production yet.. it is embarrassing as an American.

VenomForMasses said...

sniffles and salutes*

phthalo. said...

There's something utterly inspiring about seeing something so large thrown into space.

bruno said...

Goodbye Endeavour

G said...

It's kind of sad

Moobeat said...

thannks for the update

Malkavian said...

A fitting ending for a trusty shuttle

mindph said...

The shuttle was really a great invention. I hope the space program will continue somehow. Space is the future, still!

daniel said...

I live here in FL and seen it in the air while going to work.

-E- said...

People think the future means the end of history, well, we haven't run out of history just yet.

Come At Me Bro said...

This is great!

Jay said...

Yey!

and Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer? C'mon, that sounds so fake. ;)

Kicking Rocks said...

thats awesome!!!

HiFi said...

I saw the whole thing live this morning. It was pretty cool.

WanderingWriter said...

Glad to see the last launch went well!

m.m. said...

This is the second to last one ever, right? So sad.

Necroticism said...

So long to this great achievement in engineering and discovering.

Buckaroopopcorn said...

Does NASA have anything to replace the shuttles?

Bonjour Tristesse said...

Good to see they finally launched. Its a little sad knowing that the era is coming to an end.

JayPower said...

Wheyyy, 1 small step for man... :P

Astronomy Pirate said...

@Atley, NASA is still in business. NASA is still doing thousands of other science missions. Despite the temporary loss of a manned space mission, they still have lots of work to do exploring the solar system. This year Dawn will encounter the asteroid Vesta, one of the largest events of the year. Mercury is currently being scanned in the highest resolution yet, Mars rovers continue to function, a mission to Jupiter (Juno) is on its way to the launch pad, and the New Horizon's probe is at Pluto's door step (it will be there in 2015). At the same time the successor to Hubble is being manufactured, the James Webb telescope. NASA still has lots and lots of work to do.

@Jay, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, while silly sounding, is a unique $2 billion instrument that will study cosmic rays, dark matter, and anti matter. 'Alpha Magnetic' is just a literal description of how it studies particles, to most who have had physics, the name almost explains itself.

@m.m, Yep, second to last. The penultimate.

@Buck... No Siree Buckaroo (sorry, just wanted to say that.) NASA plans to rely on Russia until SpaceX gets itself solidified. NASA will still develop replacements, but I strongly feel that companies like SpaceX are the future.

Solsby Kid said...

Thats so awesome!!

Icepax_Nmir said...

wow, that's awesome

Banacek said...

It's hard to believe that this era of manned exploration is coming to an end.

Rob said...

I don't often throw out the word majestic, but that video, that shuttle more specifically, was exactly that.

Jason said...

Love the blog work! keep it up!

pixel said...

too bad we will only see one more of these launches

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