Feeds

Endeavour heads off on final mission

Successful launch of veteran shuttle

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

Space shuttle Endeavour blasted off on its 25th and final mission today, carrying the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) and spare parts to the International Space Station.

The Endeavour launch. Pic: NASA TV

The venerable vehicle departed Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A at 12:56 GMT. Speaking from the flight deck shortly before launch, commander Mark Kelly said: "This mission represents the power of teamwork, commitment and exploration. It is in the DNA of our great country to reach for the stars and explore. We must not stop."

Also on board for the the 16-day STS-134 mission are pilot Gregory H Johnson and mission specialists Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori.

Chamitoff, Feustel and Finke are tasked with tackling various ISS maintenance jobs during four planned spacewalks, details of which can be found in the mission summary (pdf).

Endeavour first launched on 7 May 1992, on STS-49. Career highlights include the first servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope in December 1993, and delivery of the first American component of the space station, the Unity Module, during December 1998's STS-88.

Once it touches back down in a couple of weeks, Endeavour will be prepared for permanent display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

NASA has an Endeavour factsheet here (pdf), and a photographic tribute gallery here. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Forty-five years ago: FOOTPRINTS FOUND ON MOON
NASA won't be back any time soon, sadly
Jurassic squawk: Dinos were Earth's early FEATHERED friends
Boffins research: Ancient dinos may all have had 'potential' fluff
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.