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Endeavour Launched

By Marc Boucher
May 16, 2011
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Endeavour on pad before launchSpace Shuttle Endeavour Launches on Her Last Mission, SpaceRef
“For the nearly 500,000 people watching the launch live in and around the Kennedy Space Centre the Space Shuttle Endeavour blasted off with on a plume of bright orange flame and quickly disappeared into the low clouds. With everyone holding their breath as low clouds surrounded the launch pad the countdown progressed with nary a glitch. When the countdown reached t-minus 31 seconds, at the point when the shuttle computer went internal, the gathered crowd at the countdown clock cheered.”
Updates will be posted here and more frequently on the following Twitter accounts: NASA Watch, SpaceRef and Marc Boucher.

3:30 am EDT Update: The media will be heading to the Operations and Checkout Building around 4:15 am to see the crew walkout as they head to Endeavour at 5:11 am.
6:15 am EDT Update: The astronauts made it to the pad unlike their last attempt on April 29th. They are currently entering Endeavour.
6:45 am EDT Update: With sunrise comes an increase in the wind and low clouds, something NASA managers are watching.
7:30 am EDT Update: There was a small area of damage around the side hatch and the closeout crew used a tile repair kit to repair it. The countdown is moving ahead and this will not affect the launch.
7:45 am EDT Update: Low cloud is expected to clear before launch and weather remains “green”.
8:30 am EDT Update: Weather still green, beautiful day at KSC. Launch in 26 minutes.
Image of repaired tile:
Damaged and repaired tile on the side hatch of Endeavour.
Astronauts get ready to board Astrovan for trip to the pad.
View of the VAB from the press site.

SpaceRef co-founder, entrepreneur, writer, podcaster, nature lover and deep thinker.