Update 4: Launch in HD
Update 3: Long exposure of the launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour by Lenny Maiorani:
Update 2: Visit the Space Shuttle Gallery for more launch photos.
Update 1: Launch HD Photos
February 8, 2010 at 09:14:07 UTC, NASA successfully launched the Space Shuttle Endeavour on its 24th mission – the 11th to the International Space Station (ISS). Six crew members of STS-130, commanded by NASA astronaut George D. Zamka (STS-120), will stay in space 12 Days 18 Hours 37 Minutes and land at the Kennedy Space Center on February 21, 2010 (UTC time). Mission specialists Robert Behnken and Nicholas Patrick will combine for 19.5 hours during 3 planed spacewalks (EVA). The STS-130 mission kicks off the final year of shuttle flights, with five missions planned through September (STS-133).
Endeavour will arrive at the orbiting complex in the early morning hours Wednesday, February 10. Once docked, hatches will be opened between the two spacecraft and a combined crew of 11 will begin eight days of work. Endeavour’s crew will be working with Expedition 22 commander NASA astronaut Jeff Williams and flight engineers cosmonaut Max Suraev, NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi. Noguchi and Robinson flew together on the STS-114 space shuttle return-to-flight mission in 2005.
STS-130 will be the first spaceflight for the shuttle pilot Terry Virts. Mission Specialist Kathryn Hire flew the STS-90 Neurolab mission spending 15 days in space. STS-130 will be the second spaceflight also for Nicholas Patrick (STS-116) and Robert Behnken (STS-123). Veteran astronaut Stephen Robinson flew on STS-85 in 1997, STS-95 in 1998 and STS-114 in 2005. He has logged more than 831 hours in space, including more than 20 hours of spacewalking time. He has also held various technical assignments within the Astronaut Office including testing space shuttle control software in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory and helping to develop the space station robot arm.
The mission will deliver and assemble the last US module onto the International Space Station. Node 3, known as Tranquility, will provide additional room for crew members and many of the space station’s life support and environmental control systems. Attached to the node is a cupola, which is a robotic control station with six windows around its sides and another in the center that will provide a panoramic view of Earth, celestial objects and visiting spacecraft.
Tucked away inside Tranquility and Endeavour’s mid-deck will be a ton of equipment, supplies and experiments for the space station. Included are a new distillation assembly and fluid control pump assembly for the urine processing assembly, an external filter assembly for the water processing assembly, a new bed for the carbon dioxide removal assembly, laptop computers, crew provisions, health care supplies, spacewalk tools and others.
The next mission to the ISS will be STS-131 (ISS assembly flight 19A) planned to launch on at 18:34 UTC on March 18, 2010. The primary payload of STS-131 is scheduled to be the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Raffaello.
Endeavour last flight is scheduled for July 29, 2010. The STS-134 mission (assembly flight ULF6) will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and the third ExPRESS Logistics Carrier to the to the station.