Space Shuttle Endeavor
May 16, 2011 by USA Post
Space Shuttle Endeavor, Endeavour lifted off the flight of NASA shuttle next to the last, thundering through the clouds in orbit yesterday morning as the wife of wounded mission commander, Gabrielle Giffords, was along with a cheering crowd estimated in the hundreds of thousands of people.
NASA is nearing its shuttle program 30 years of age, before embarking on something new. The event generated the kind of emotion rarely seen in Florida’s Space Coast on a huge scale – despite a delay of more than two weeks after the original release date due to an electrical problem.
Monday’s countdown was nearly perfect, and the ferry quickly disappeared into the clouds thin, low.
“That was four seconds of cold,” said Manny Kariotakis, who was visiting from Montreal. The nursery owner 50 years old has goosebumps watching the departure of thousands along Highway 1 in Titusville.
Launch Manager Mike Moses apologized for the glimpse. “The view was not the best,” he said.
Just before launch, Commander Mark Kelly thanked all who put their hands “in this amazing boat.”
“It’s in the DNA of our great country to reach the stars and explore. We must not stop,” he said.
Surprisingly, Giffords made a visit back to see Kelly out. She is still undergoing rehabilitation in a Houston hospital to recover from a gunshot wound to the head in an assassination attempt just over four months.
Arizona Congressman was shielded from the cameras on the launch day, as the families of five other astronauts. Everyone saw the takeoff in private.
Giffords has remained out of public eye since the January 8 shooting that injured and killed six in Tucson, Arizona
She and Kelly were fired, face-to-face on Sunday.
With Kelly at the helm, the Endeavour and its crew with experience of five Americans and an Italian went to the International Space Station. Will reach the space station Tuesday, delivering a two billion magnetic instrument seek antimatter and dark energy in the universe?
On Tuesday, astronauts will survey the ship for launch damage to Endeavour’s heat shield. Only a few small pieces of foam insulation broke off the fuel tank during liftoff crucial, officials said.
Up to 45,000 people jammed into the launch site at NASA, and thousands of people crowded the area roads and cities to see Endeavour last shot. Only one shuttle flight remains.
VIP includes Apollo 11? S Michael Collins and four other members of Congress.
Early estimates had put the public on Monday by 500,000, more than the number who saw the end of Discovery hurra in February. Across the Indian River in Titusville, however, the number of spectators seemed to be down compared with the previous launch attempt of Endeavour on a Friday afternoon.
Titusville Assistant Police Chief John Lau guessed the crowd of between 350,000 and 400,000.
“I do not know if it was in the early morning or what,” said Lau.
Electrical problems grounded the shuttle on April 29, disappointing hordes of visitors, including President Barack Obama and his family. Repairs in the last two weeks took over the problem.
“God Speed?? Endeavour we are ready for you!” Said the space station resident Ronald Garan Jr. in an update to Twitter. At launch, the space station was 220 miles up, just southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Kelly almost did not make the flight.
The captain of the Navy aged 47, was dismissed from training to be next to his wife after being wounded, and it seemed unlikely he would stay with the flight. But Giffords improvement and was transferred from the hospital in his hometown of Tucson to Houston, where Kelly lives and no astronaut training. His days were filled with rehabilitation work, and longed to see through the shuttle mission. A month after the shooting, he announced he would fly.
“Everyone felt it was right for me,” he said at the time. He added that his wife “is a big supporter of my career, a strong supporter of NASA.”
He rejoined the team in February, still managing to see his wife in the city every morning and evening.
Giffords visit ‘Kennedy Space Center – the third time he has seen her husband shot in space – ratchet up the excitement level of what was already a major event, officials said the release.
Identical twin of Kelly, Scott, who is also an astronaut, witnessed the launch with his two young nephews, Mark, daughters from a previous marriage.
This is the flight 25 and the end of Endeavour, the baby of the shuttle fleet for NASA. It was built to replace Challenger, which was destroyed during launch 25 years ago last January and made its maiden voyage, six years after the capture and repair of a satellite stranded. That first flight ended 19 years ago Monday.
Endeavour carries the first team to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, which restores the vision of the famous observatory in 1993 and the first American space station in 1998.
Will end his days in the California Science Center in Los Angeles.
Starting Monday, the Endeavour had recorded more than 116 million miles back to Earth about 4,500 times, spent 283 days in space and carried 170 people, including the last two people to fly a spacecraft for the first time. American Mike Fincke and Italian Roberto Vittori are making their first shuttle flight in spite of that I’ve been on the space station on two occasions, carried by their Russian Soyuz rocket.
Andrew Feustel computer Fincke and Gregory Chamitoff during four spacewalks during the 16-day mission. It will be the final spacewalk by the shuttle crew.
NASA officials said it would be a demanding flight, including the departure of an unprecedented three-person Soyuz capsule, as Endeavour is there. The crews of the shuttle and the station goes to sleep at different times to accommodate the Soyuz undocking on Monday, just five days after the arrival of the shuttle.
Last shuttle flight for NASA, Atlantis is scheduled for July. After that, the Atlantis will remain at the Kennedy Center, where he exhibited at the visitor complex. Discovery will head the Smithsonian Institution hangar on the outskirts of Washington.
U.S. astronauts, meanwhile, will hitch rides to the space station Russian Soyuz rocket. Private companies are expected to take over, but is still years away.
Once Atlantis flies, which is three years – at best – before the Americans are thrown back from U.S. territory. Some observers fear that NASA could be a decade.
The White House wants NASA to focus on any expeditions to asteroids and Mars, feasible, provided that the shuttles are flying given the budget constraints.
Ohio, Stan Oliver made a last-minute trip to the launch. The administrator of the assisted living facility has a ticket to Tampa and then headed on Sunday night to Titusville, where he slept in his car.
“This is a once in a lifetime event,” said Oliver, 41, who live near Dayton. “It was worth it. The noise was intense. I’m glad I came.”
The launch director Mike Leinbach said that those who devoted themselves to Endeavour over the years probably shed a few tears Monday. “But that’s OK,” he said, “because they know they did the best job he could, and Endeavour safely in orbit.”
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