Just 20 minutes before the space shuttle launch there was a concern about one internal door not being locked. The NASA scientists were worried if the vibration may cause any damage. However, the conclusion was that it will not and the most it may do it to break some lights.
The astronauts are expected to lack the door themselves at some point.
The Image with this story shows how the Space shuttle Endeavour races toward space in a shower of clouds and steam from NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Photo credit: NASA/KSC.
The launch of the space shuttle is being watched across the globe. You can go to NASA's website and leave your comments. I found one viewer commenting "Guys, you are so awesome. Here is 2a.m., but I can´t sleep, love shuttle, love NASA. God Bless your flight." This must be from UK or Ireland, as it's there 2 A.M now.
The giant orange tank that provided fuel for Space Shuttle Endeavour's climb into space is now empty and is jettisoning from the shuttle. As the tank falls away and descends toward Earth, the tank's on-board cameras record the process. About two minutes into flight, the solid rocket boosters propelling Endeavour higher into space have successfully separated and gracefully fallen away.
Each booster has a parachute packed in its frustum that will automatically deploy after entering Earth's atmosphere to slow the descent into the ocean. Space Shuttle Endeavour has safely attained orbit and NASA mission managers have given the command to proceed with main engine cutoff, also known as MECO.
Less than 10 minutes after launch, space shuttle Endeavour was orbiting around Earth. Within 24 hours, Endeavour will meet up and dock with the International, Space Station.
As the National Geographic reports:
Besides seven astronauts, Endeavor's cargo includes two new sleeping chambers, a second toilet, and a water-purification system, all of which will let NASA double the occupancy of the International Space Station to six.
The new mission is the 124th space shuttle flight and the 27th to the International Space Station. The seven-member crew will spend 15 days performing basic maintenance on the station before returning to Earth.
The launch is set for 7:55 p.m. eastern standard time. Forecasters have put the odds of acceptable conditions at 70 percent on Friday and just 40 percent on Saturday, with a much better chance of success on Sunday.
"This mission is "all about home improvements" at the International Space Station, said Endeavor commander Chris Ferguson in a statement.
"That includes a state-of-the-art, urine-purification system to enhance the station's water-recycling abilities. Astronauts already recycle the steam from their showers, the water from their shaving and toothbrushing—even their sweat."
Four planned spacewalks will focus on servicing the station's two Solar Alpha Rotary Joints, or SARJ, which are needed to track the sun for electric power.
Endeavour and its crew are set to land at NASA's Kennedy Space Center after more than two weeks in space.