Endeavour lifted off at 8:53:23 AM ET for the 165th and next to last shuttle voyage into space. Endeavour saw its first mission in 1992 when it replaced Challenger in the shuttle program after it was hit by disaster on January 28, 1986 at just 73 seconds into its ill-fated flight.
This is Endeavour’s 25th trip into space in its 19 years of service. The shuttle is delivering an Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and an ELC-3 to the International Space Station.
The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS-02) is a state-of-the-art particle physics detector designed to operate as an external module on the International Space Station. It will use the unique environment of space to study the universe and its origin by searching for antimatter, dark matter while performing precision measurements of cosmic rays composition and flux. (From: www.ams02.org ) For more information about the AMS-02 please click here.
ELC-3 stands for ExPRESS Logistics Carrier (ELC) and is an unpressurized attached payload platform for the International Space Station (ISS) that provides mechanical mounting surfaces, electrical power, and command and data handling services for science experiments on the ISS (From: Wikipedia)
|Pilot:||Gregory H. Johnson|
|Michael Fincke (US)|
|Greg Chamitoff (US)|
|Andrew Feustel (US)|
|Roberto Vittori (Italy)|
This was scheduled to be the final Space Shuttle mission into space, but there has been one more approved. The final shuttle mission will be the launch of Atlantis which is currently scheduled for a June 1, 2011 launch. The only problem with that is due to all the delays in the launch of Endeavour that just happens to be the expected landing date for their mission. So expect Atlantis’s launch to be pushed back a bit from that date.
Arizona Representitive Gabrielle Giffords was on hand at Cape Canaveral to watch her husband, Commander Mike Kelly launch into space.
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