Status Report

Space shuttle Endeavour Launched on STS-126 Mission

By SpaceRef Editor
November 14, 2008
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Space shuttle Endeavour Launched on STS-126 Mission

Space shuttle Endeavour roared off Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on a spectacular tower of smoke and flames. The STS-126 mission is an extremely ambitious undertaking, highlighting four spacewalks and delivering the heaviest payload in shuttle history.

The giant orange tank that provided fuel for Endeavour’s climb into space is now empty and is jettisoning from the shuttle. As the tank falls away and descends toward Earth, the tank’s on-board cameras record the process.

About two minutes into flight, the solid rocket boosters propelling Endeavour higher into space have successfully separated and gracefully fallen away. Each booster has a parachute packed in its frustum that will automatically deploy after entering Earth’s atmosphere to slow the descent into the ocean.

Endeavour has safely attained orbit and NASA mission managers have given the command to proceed with main engine cutoff, also known as MECO. Less than 10 minutes after launch, Endeavour was orbiting around Earth. Within 24 hours, Endeavour will meet up and dock with the International Space Station.

SpaceRef staff editor.