Thursday, February 07, 2008

Shuttle Atlantis launches successfully

STS-122 lifts off from Kennedy Space Center

Space Shuttle Atlantis has made a successful launch into space as part of the continuing mission to complete the International Space Station. It is taking Europe's Columbia laboratory to the station a €1.3 billion module which will research the development of advanced alloys [BBC]. The 10 tonne laboratory has seen countless delays in its being dispatched to the ISS so there will be a sigh of relief that it is finally on its way. Three pieces of foam are said to have fallen from the main fuel tank upon launch which may be cause for concern if the debris hit the shuttle's heat shield. This mission was supposed to have been initiated in December but has been delayed for a number of safety reasons. Even today's mission was nearly delayed because of weather [NASA].

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