Feeds

Space shuttle Endeavour: 'An incredible ship'

25 missions and 122 million miles for 'amazing vehicle'

A new approach to endpoint data protection

The Unity module approaches the Zarya module. Pic: NASAIn January 1998, the spacecraft visited Russia's Mir space station, and in December of that year had the honour of carrying out the first International Space Station flight, which saw the Unity module (bottom of pic) released from its cargo bay and mated with the Russian Zarya control module (seen orbiting).

The shuttle subsequently returned to the ISS 11 times. Between 2000 and its swansong STS-134 mission to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the orbiting outpost, the spacecraft also dropped off solar arrays, the P1 Integrated Truss Segment, the Dextre Robotics System, and the Tranquility node.

The highlight of Endeavour's multiple voyages to the ISS came, as far as the public was concerned, during 2008's STS-126, when spacewalker Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper dropped her toolbag, consigning it to a fiery death in Earth's upper atmosphere.

By the time Endeavour trundled to a halt at Kennedy Space Center yesterday, it had "spent 299 days in space, orbited Earth 4,671 times and traveled 122,883,151 miles".

It will now be prepared for display at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, while NASA gets ready to bring the shuttle era to a close with the final mission of Atlantis on 8 July.

Shuttle Columbia, atop the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, flys past Endeavour at Kennedy Space Center in 1994. Pic: NASA

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said today: "We are very proud of Endeavour's legacy, and this penultimate flight of the space shuttle programme once again demonstrated the amazing skill and dedication of our astronauts and the entire workforce.

"As we begin the transition from the shuttle programme to the commercial transportation of our crews and cargo, our ability to tackle big challenges remains steadfast and will ensure that NASA reaches even more destinations farther in the Solar System."

NASA has an Endeavour factsheet here (two-page/311KB PDF) with a listing of all its missions, and a photo tribute to the shuttle 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?