Editor's Note: Hi Flickr friends! This is a slight departure from what I usually post, since this is a shuttle image. But as I was blessed enough to witness this launch in person -- my first launch! -- I wanted you to see what I saw. Please note that these incredible NASA images are not mine personally. I urge you to see the whole set at mediaarchive.ksc.nasa.gov/search.cfm?cat=4.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Space shuttle Endeavour lights up the night sky as it lifts off Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Launch on 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 www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts130....
Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann
Uploaded by nasa1fan/MSFC on 10 Feb 10, 4.31AM EET.
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