PHOTO CREDIT: NASA or National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – An exhaust cloud engulfs Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida as space shuttle Endeavour lifts off into the night sky.
Launch of the STS-130 mission to the International Space Station was at 4:14 a.m. EST. This was the second launch attempt for space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-130 crew and the final scheduled space shuttle night launch. The first attempt on Feb. 7 was scrubbed due to unfavorable weather. The primary payload for the STS-130 mission to the International Space Station is the Tranquility node, a pressurized module that will provide additional room for crew members and many of the station’s life support and environmental control systems.
Attached to one end of Tranquility is a cupola, a unique work area with six windows on its sides and one on top. The cupola resembles a circular bay window and will provide a vastly improved view of the station’s exterior. The multi-directional view will allow the crew to monitor spacewalks and docking operations, as well as provide a spectacular view of Earth and other celestial objects. The module was built in Turin, Italy, by Thales Alenia Space for the European Space Agency.
For information on the STS-130 mission and crew, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts130/index.html. Photo credit: NASA/Sandra Joseph and Kevin O’Connell.