Endeavour heads for ISS on sixth try

'Persistence pays off' for STS-127


Space shuttle Endeavour has finally blasted off on its mission to the International Space Station.

Image courtesy NASA TV

The belated liftoff of mission STS-127 from Kennedy Space Center is NASA's sixth attempt to get Endeavour off the ground. Two cancellations in June were due to a leak in the shuttle's hydrogen gas venting system, and three other launches were snuffed because of troublesome Floridian weather.

Mother Nature showed mercy for the sake of science today, allowing Endeavour's crew of seven to get some space-faring work done at the ISS.

"Persistence pays off, good luck and godspeed," NASA launch control radioed in before liftoff.

At two hours to launch, weather around the area was still a cause for concern for the space agency, but conditions cleared in time for the shuttle's preferred launch time of 6:03 pm EDT (10:03 GMT).

The time was chosen because it allows the shuttle to burn less fuel during its climb into space to catch the station on time. Endeavour is scheduled to dock with the orbiting outpost Friday afternoon EDT.

STS-127's five postponements is just short of NASA's record for scrubbed launches. STS-61C in 1986 and STS-73 in 1995 continue to share that honor with six failed attempts apiece under their belts.

Aboard Endeavour is the final piece of Japan's $1bn space laboratory Kibo, which will serve as a "front porch" for the ISS module to let astronauts expose experiments to space.

When the crew arrives at the ISS, they will be the largest group ever together in orbit with 13 people crammed in the 73m-long (240ft) station. ®

Similar topics


Other stories you might like

  • NASA tricks Artemis launch computer by masking data showing a leak
    Plus it aborts ISS reboost. Not the greatest start to the week, was it?

    NASA engineers had to work fast to avoid another leak affecting the latest Artemis dry run, just hours after an attempt to reboost the International Space Station (ISS) via the Cygnus freighter was aborted following a few short seconds.

    The US space agency on Monday rolled the huge Artemis I stack back to its Florida launchpad having worked through the leaks and problems that had beset its previous attempt at fueling the beast in April for an earlier dress rehearsal of the final countdown.

    As propellant was loaded into the rocket, controllers noted a hydrogen leak in the quick-disconnect that attaches an umbilical from the tail service mast on the mobile launcher to the core stage of the rocket.

    Continue reading
  • NASA to commission independent UFO study
    The truth is out there, and the space agency intends to find it – scientifically

    Over recent years, Uncle Sam has loosened its tight-lipped if not dismissive stance on UFOs, or "unidentified aerial phenomena", lest anyone think we're talking about aliens. Now, NASA is the latest body to get in on the act.

    In a statement released June 9, the space agency announced it would be commissioning a study team, starting work in the fall, to examine unidentified aerial phenomena or UAPs, which it defined as "observations of events in the sky that cannot be identified as aircraft or known natural phenomena."

    NASA emphasized that the study would be from a "scientific perspective" – because "that's what we do" – and focus on "identifying available data, how best to collect future data, and how NASA can use that data to move the scientific understanding of UAPs forward."

    Continue reading
  • Meteoroid hits main mirror on James Webb Space Telescope
    Impact at the end of May bad enough to garble data, but NASA isn't worried

    The James Webb Space Telescope has barely had a chance to get to work, and it's already taken a micrometeoroid to its sensitive primary mirror.

    The NASA-built space observatory reached its final destination, the L2 orbit, a million miles away from Earth, at the end of January.

    In a statement, NASA said the impact happened some time at the end of May. Despite the impact being larger than any that NASA modeled and "beyond what the team could have tested on the ground," the space agency said the telescope continues to perform at higher-than-expected levels. The telescope has been hit on four previous occasions since launch.

    Continue reading
  • NASA's SOFIA aircraft preps for final flights ahead of mission end
    With operations deadline in September, team eager to squeeze more data out of infrared observatory

    The SOFIA aircraft has returned to New Zealand for a final time ahead of the mission's conclusion later this year.

    The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is a modified Boeing 747SP aircraft, designed to carry a 2.7-meter reflecting telescope into the stratosphere, above much of Earth's infrared-blocking atmosphere.

    A collaboration between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), development began on the project in 1996. SOFIA saw first light in 2010 and achieved full operational capability in 2014. Its prime mission was completed in 2019 and earlier this year, it was decided that SOFIA would be grounded for budgetary reasons. Operations end "no later than" September 30, 2022, followed by an "orderly shutdown."

    Continue reading
  • Astra fails, sends NASA's Tropics weather satellites back to Earth
    Orbital success counter stuck at 2 as upper stage of rocket shuts down early and CubeSats lost

    The first of NASA's TROPICS constellation launches came to an unscheduled end over the weekend as the Astra launch vehicle it was riding failed to deliver the cubesats to orbit.

    It was all going so well. The two cubesats lifted off atop an Astra Rocket 3 from Space Launch Complex 46 at approximately 1343 EDT on June 12, 2022.

    The initial flight seemed go swimmingly, but things went wrong after the first stage had completed. Viewers of video streaming live from the rocket saw what appeared to be the start of some tumbling before the feed was abruptly cut off. NASA's California-based commercial rocket-making partner Astra confirmed that the upper stage had shut down early, dooming the payload to a considerably earlier than planned rendezvous with Earth.

    Continue reading
  • Former chip research professor jailed for not disclosing Chinese patents
    This is how Beijing illegally accesses US tech, say Feds

    The former director of the University of Arkansas’ High Density Electronics Center, a research facility that specialises in electronic packaging and multichip technology, has been jailed for a year for failing to disclose Chinese patents for his inventions.

    Professor Simon Saw-Teong Ang was in 2020 indicted for wire fraud and passport fraud, with the charges arising from what the US Department of Justice described as a failure to disclose “ties to companies and institutions in China” to the University of Arkansas or to the US government agencies for which the High Density Electronics Center conducted research under contract.

    At the time of the indictment, then assistant attorney general for national security John C. Demers described Ang’s actions as “a hallmark of the China’s targeting of research and academic collaborations within the United States in order to obtain U.S. technology illegally.” The DoJ statement about the indictment said Ang’s actions had negatively impacted NASA and the US Air Force.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022