Endeavour’s Final Mission: The Scheduled Launch on April 29, 2011 (Launched on May 16th)

STS-134 Will be Endeavour's Last Flight

As Endeavour and its crew make final preparations for heading out to the final frontier, I cannot help but think about our obsession with space. The Star Walk app from the apple store allows you to point your Iphone or Ipad at the sky and see the stars and constellations in real time. Ever since I downloaded the app, I have been obsessed with the constellations. And it is so surprising how all the apparent stars have been organized into constellations. What’s amazing is that this wasn’t done by Stephen Hawking or Willy Fowler. The constellations trace their roots to Greco-Roman and Babylonian era. That’s why most of the stars reflect Greco-Roman myths and other references.

We should be thankful to the Space Race between the two super powers back in the 1960s. The rival nature of competition lead to expeditious progress of the space program in both the nations (United States and the Soviet Union). It took another 20 years for everyone to develop synergies by working together on space shuttle programs.

Despite the obsession, our knowledge of space is very limited. Voyager 2 is as far as we have been able to send a probe. Technologies like Hubble have allowed us to observe space to a much further degree but reaching there is not happening anytime soon.

Endeavour, named after the British HMS Endeavour, was a constructed in 1987 to replace the challenger. Maiden flight was made on May 7, 1992. The Shuttle will launch to the International Space Station assembly mission (STS-134) on the 29th of April, 2011 at 3:47 p.m. EDT (1947 GMT). This will be the final mission of the Endeavour.

The crew consists of a team of six veteran astronauts. Mark Kelly will lead the command. The shuttle will be piloted by Gregory H. Johnson.  Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and European Space Agency’s Roberto Vittori  are mission specialists. Kelly is married to Congresswoman Gabrielle Griffords who was shot outside a Tuscon grocery store in January. Griffords has recovered enough and will be able to attend the launch on Friday.

Pictured. Kelly(Bottom Center) (Back Row, Left to Right) Gregory H Johnson, Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and Roberto Vittori.

Note: The scheduled launch of Endeavour for STS-134 was delayed due to technical difficulties. The Endeavour launched on the 16th of May.


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