Feeds

Space Shuttle Endeavour heads for the skies

'Flawless' launch, and a pretty picture...

A new approach to endpoint data protection

Endeavour lifts off. Credit: NASA

Endeavour lifts off. Credit: NASA

NASA has described the launch of the Space Shuttle Endeavour as "flawless". The shuttle blasted off from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida late last night (UK time), starting its 14 day mission to the International Space Station without a hitch.

The space agency's top dog Michael Griffin enthused: "A launch operation doesn't get any better than this, it can't."

This is the first time Endeavour has flown since 2002, and is the second of four missions to the ISS NASA hopes to run this year. The shuttle has been totally overhauled, and NASA managers say it is practically a new spacecraft.

Endeavour is carrying the ISS's third starboard truss segment, and teacher Barbara Morgan. Morgan had been the reserve for Christa McAuliffe, who died with the rest of the crew when the shuttle Challenger exploded on launching back in 1986.

Morgan, who will be operating the shuttle's robotic arm, said she was realising a lifetime's dream of going to space. She added that although she had trained as an astronaut, she would be flying with the heart and soul of a teacher.

Presumably, this means detention for any unruly astronaut behaviour and stern notes home to Mum if the mission is not handed in on time.

The new ISS segment, known as S5, is relatively small: it is roughly the size of a small car and "weighs-in" (Earth lingo, we know) at 1.58 tonnes. It will provide a clearance between the solar arrays on the truss structure, NASA says.

The shuttle is also carrying 2.25 tonnes of cargo to resupply the ISS. It will take home a similar quantity of junk.

More of NASA's shots of the launch are here. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?