Tuesday, April 19, 2011

NASA: Final Launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour Set for April 29

NASA's space shuttle Endeavour is ready to launch on its final voyage April 29, top mission managers decided on April 19. Shuttle officials approved the launch plan after a day-long meeting called the Flight Readiness Review (FRR), which allowed mission managers to discuss Endeavour's mission plan in detail and consider any possible issues that might delay liftoff.

None being found, officials decided to move forward with the target date of April 29 at 3:47 p.m. EDT for Endeavour's final blast off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, florida. "The team was unanimous and we're ready to go fly," NASA's associate administrator for space operations, Bill Gerstenmaier, said during a press conference following the meeting.

Endeavour is slated to carry six astronauts, a cargo bay full of spare supplies, and a $2 billion astrophysics experiment to the International Space Station. "The potential science that it can return to understand the dark matter that lives in the universe and understand these unique high-energy particles that are out there in space, it's going to be tremendously important," Gerstenmaier said. "This is a pretty unique mission to close out Endeavour's career."

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