News / USA

Shuttle Endeavour Blasts Off Toward Space Station

Media capture the launch of space shuttle Endeavour on the STS-134 mission to the International Space Station from the Press Site at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The shuttle and its six-member crew lifted off on time at 8:56 a.m. EDT on May 16.
Media capture the launch of space shuttle Endeavour on the STS-134 mission to the International Space Station from the Press Site at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The shuttle and its six-member crew lifted off on time at 8:56 a.m. EDT on May 16.

Multimedia

The space shuttle Endeavour has lifted off on its 25th and final mission. 

"8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 ... and liftoff for the final launch of Endeavour, expanding our knowledge and expanding our lives in space."

And, with that, six astronauts and the youngest shuttle in NASA's fleet, Endeavour, blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, bound for the International Space Station.

Astronaut Mark Kelly is commanding Endeavour's final mission.  

He shared a few words with mission control about 10 minutes before launch.

"As Americans, we endeavor to build a better life than the generation before, and we endeavor to be a united nation," said Kelly. "In these efforts, we are often tested. 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."

Kelly's wife, U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, attended Monday's launch. Giffords was severely wounded during a shooting rampage in Arizona in January and has been recovering at a medical center in Houston, Texas.  

She was among the estimated half-million spectators at the liftoff.

Endeavour was set to launch in late April, but an electrical problem in a heater circuit forced a delay. Engineers replaced the switchbox and installed new wiring.

A few hours ahead of Monday's launch, technicians repaired damage to tile around the shuttle's crew hatch, but NASA said it would cause no issue for the flight.

After the successful liftoff, Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach spoke to reporters.

"Endeavour is in orbit safely and is going to perform a great mission, and we'll see her back here on June 1," he said. "So, a great day here at the Kennedy Space Center and for the shuttle program."   

The primary objective of Endeavour's 16-day mission is to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the International Space Station. The spectrometer, or AMS, is a sophisticated detector that will help researchers study the formation of the universe.

It will look for elusive evidence of anti-matter by searching for anti-carbon and anti-helium molecules among all discernible particles.

This will be the last mission for Endeavour, and the second-to-last mission for the U.S. shuttle fleet. NASA is retiring the shuttles in order to focus on developing the next generation of spacecraft that could go beyond low-Earth-orbit.  

The next and final launch of the space shuttle Atlantis is set for July.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid