By LCR contributor Barrel Rider
As the crew of Space Shuttle Endeavour near the halfway mark of their final mission STS-134 astronauts recently completed the first of four scheduled spacewalks. The two astronauts installed Antennas, cabling and associated railing for the space stations wireless communication system.
The spacewalk was cut ten minutes short as a precaution due to a carbon dioxide sensor failure in one of the spacesuits. There are three remaining space walks scheduled for space station maintenance and assembly. This latest evolution marked NASA’s 245th spacewalk, and the 115th at the international space station.
Around 500,000 spectators witnessed Endeavour’s final liftoff on May 16, 2011. The mission will last 16 days. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was on hand to witness the launch. Her husband astronaut, Mark Kelly is a crew member of STS 134.
Shuttle Endeavour is the youngest of the Space Shuttle fleet and is sometimes referred to as NASA’s ‘baby’. She was built in 1987 to replace the Challenger and had a combination of newly manufactured parts, along with spares from the NASA’s stock. Construction of Endeavour took 3.5 years. The shuttle was used to launch the first Hubble servicing mission, STS-61 in December 1993, which corrected the observatory's faulty optics.
After this final voyage, Endeavour will be retired to the California Science Museum in Los Angeles for public display.
CLICK HERE for some Endeavour facts and figures.