The space shuttle Endeavour will take a piggy-back ride from a Boeing 747 as it journey to its final home. After a final review from NASA managers on Wednesday, the Endeavour will go on a cross-country flight from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Los Angeles where it will be put in display.
NASA is expecting that the space shuttle will draw crowds and onlookers as it passes over three space centers and make stop overs on the way. The Endeavour will end up in museum, just like the space shuttles Discovery and Atlantis after NASA ended its 30-year space shuttle program last year. The Endeavour is the baby of the space shuttle fleet as it was built as a replacement for Challenger, the space shuttle that exploded shortly after it launched in 1986. It rolled out of the assembly plant in 1991 and flew some of the most high-profile missions in history. It flew a spacelab mission and many International Space Station Assembly mission and also with the Russian space station Mir. The Endeavour was named after the first ship commanded by British explorer, James Cook.
The flight was originally scheduled on Monday, but was delayed due to unfavorable weather conditions.
After a tough and technically intensive 16-day mission in space, the seven astronauts of the space shuttle Endeavour lands safely at Kennedy Space Center in Florida this morning.
The shuttle landed as scheduled at 10:48 a.m. ET. It was a picture-perfect landing for a shuttle that had a tough time getting off the ground due to a gaseous hydrogen leak that scuttled two scheduled launches and bad weather that derailed three other attempts.
The shuttle finally blasted off on July 15 – its sixth launch attempt.
Yesterday, mission control specialists found that one of Endeavour‘s forward thrusters, which control altitude and speed upon re-entry, failed during a test of control systems. As shown today, NASA had reported that the shuttle could land safely without the thruster.
The next shuttle launch is set for Aug. 25, when mission STS-128 is scheduled to liftoff from Kennedy.
Last September, SpaceX was successful in getting Flight 4 into orbit but this time the space start-up has successfully put a commercial payload into orbit.
SpaceX was a joint development program of the Astronautic Technology (M) Sdn.Bhd. of Malaysia and SaTReCi who co-developed the RazakSat satellite. A little over an hour into the flight of the Falcon 1, it was confirmed that the second stage rocket had been restarted, deploying the satellite into its correct orbit.
This launch comes hot on the toes of space shuttle Endeavour‘s fifth scrubbed launch earlier in the day, but there was very little warning that the Falcon 1 would be taking to the skies from Kwajalein Atoll. SpaceX rarely gives much advanced warning of their launches, and Flight 5 was just as mysterious as the previous flights. But that didn’t take away from the suspense leading up to a flawless blast off (after a short delay due to bad Pacific weather). Later this year is the planned inaugural flight of the larger Falcon 9.