Aside from the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, the launch of space shuttle Endeavour will be watched by a lot of people. On Friday, at 3:47 p.m. at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, Endeavour will embark on its final mission, and mark NASA’s second to last shuttle mission before the 30-year US space shuttle program ends.
On its last mission the Endeavour will carry an Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, spare parts, two communication antennas, and a high-pressure gas tank to the International Space Station.
Among the “guests of honor” who will watched the shuttle launch of Endeavour are Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and President Obama. Giffords, who is undergoing rehabilitation in Houston, flew to Florida to witness her husband, Mark Kelly, in the Endeavour’s shuttle launch. She was injured in a shooting incident in Tucson where 13 people were injured and 6 others killed.
Mark Kelly commands the NASA space shuttle Endeavour which is tasked to deliver to the space station, an Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. The spectrometer measures cosmic rays which could identify antimatter or dark matter. This will help scientists learn more about the universe. It will be the final mission of the Endeavour.
According to NASA shuttle test director Jeff Spaulding, Endeavour is ready and in “good shape” for its Friday launch. Although there will be isolated storms, the weather will get better by 11 pm, which would not cause major problems with the shuttle launch.
President Obama and his family will also watch the historic shuttle lift-off. Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey’s shows will devote time for the space shuttle Endeavour launch.
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