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Space shuttle Endeavour finally off next Monday

Last mission begins on 16 May

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NASA has announced that space shuttle Endeavour will finally blast off on its 25th and final mission at 12:56 GMT on 16 May.

The launch to the International Space Station was aborted on 29 April due to a heater failure in the spacecraft's Auxiliary Power Unit, later traced to a blown circuit in a switchbox inside the engine compartment.

Endeavour's swansong STS-134 mission, led by commander Mike Kelly, will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the orbiting outpost.

Endeavour's first launch on mission STS-49. Pic NASA

The shuttle first launched on 7 May 1992 (see pic), on an eight-day trip to capture, repair and return Intelsat VI to orbit.

Once it's back on terra firma, Endeavour will be put on display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. NASA has a photo tribute to the venerable vehicle right here. ®

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