Saturday, November 15, 2008

Shuttle Endeavour lifts off safely

Space shuttle Endeavour has launched successfully from the Kennedy space center in Florida. In a night time launch the shuttle lifted off with NASA astronaut Chris Ferguson commanding the seven-member crew, which includes Pilot Eric Boe, Mission Specialists Donald Pettit, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Steve Bowen, Shane Kimbrough and Sandra Magnus. In Endeavour's payload bay, the spacecraft is carrying the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo packed full of about 30,000 Kg of equipment and supplies, making it one of the heaviest modules in shuttle history. Also included in the payload, are additional sleeping quarters, a second toilet, an exercise device and other household-type equipment. The mission will last 15 days during which four space-walks are planned. They will focus on servicing the station's two Solar Alpha Rotary Joints, or SARJ, which are needed to track the sun for electric power.

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