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Author Topic: Endeavour has main engine start and successful lift off.  (Read 4668 times)


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Endeavour has main engine start and successful lift off.
« on: July 16, 2009, 02:15:50 AM »
Space shuttle blasts off after month's delay
 30 minutes ago

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — After more than a month's delay, space shuttle Endeavour and seven astronauts thundered into orbit Wednesday on a flight to the international space station, hauling up a veranda for Japan's enormous lab and looking to set a crowd record.

Success came on launch try No. 6, on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the liftoff of man's first moon landing.

But the mood was dampened somewhat when NASA managers watched the launch video.

Several pieces of foam insulation came off the external fuel tank during liftoff, and the shuttle was hit two or three times, said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA's space operations chief. Some scuff marks were spotted on the belly, but that probably is coating loss and considered minor, he said.

Engineers immediately began reviewing all the launch video, standard procedure ever since flights resumed following the Columbia disaster. Gerstenmaier said zoom-in photos will be taken of the entire shuttle right before it docks with the space station Friday, to ascertain whether the shuttle suffered any serious damage.

"The bottom line is we saw some stuff, and it needs to be checked out thoroughly".


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