Sunday, November 16, 2008

Endeavour's Launch

Endeavour's LaunchAt last, weather conditions seem to have provided a clear launch for the Endeavour spacecraft, which carries a crew of 7 to the International Space Station. As a result, the 2 million-kilogram heavy shuttle blasted off into the sky at 1955 EST (0055 GMT), providing a special show for the watchers who were present at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with the help of the nearly-full Moon. The craft contains a hefty amount of tools that will help the astronauts upgrade the station in order to support double its current crew of 3.

When there were only 15 minutes left until lift-off, technicians spotted a door on the launch pad that wasn't perfectly secured. But the launch control experts indicated that it would not turn to be a problem for the craft, as, in the worst case scenario, it would only damage the room that provides access to Endeavour to some extent. And it turns out they were right about it, as the shuttle was able to take off without a scratch.

"We're about to get an extreme home makeover. It's an exciting day. It doesn't get better than this, my friends," said space station commander Mike Fincke, quoted by Discovery. Launch director Mike Leinbach agreed: "The vehicle's in good shape, the weather's beautiful. Good luck, Godspeed, and have a Happy Thanksgiving on orbit."

No comments: