Endeavour has been connected to the ISS last time

Endeavour has been connected to the ISS last time

Endeavour has been connected to the ISS last time. U.S. space shuttle Endeavour, with six astronauts on board, including an Italian, has joined Wednesday on International Space Station (ISS), NASA announced their representatives.

Connecting to the ISS, the last one made ​​the "young " of the American shuttles, occurred at 10.41 GMT, 350 miles above Chile, said NASA commentator television station that broadcast the event live.

"Connection has been confirmed, " said service controller of Space Center Houston, Texas.

Opening the hatch separating the two spacecraft will be nearly two hours of connectivity, at around 12.36 GMT, for the pressure to equilibrate and the astronauts to check for leaks.

Arrival of the Endeavour crew on the ISS will be welcomed by the bell, according to a tradition borrowed from the U.S. Navy. A welcome ceremony will take place immediately thereafter.

Endeavour arrived an hour before connecting to about 200 feet below the ISS. Commander Mark Kelly manually piloted spacecraft, which was until then the automatic piloting system, causing it to perform a pirouette around its own axis with a rotation speed of one degree per second.

Astronauts aboard the ISS - Russian Dmitry Kondratiev, American Italian Paolo Nespoli and Cady Coleman - have been able to photograph heat shield below the "belly" shuttle.

These high definition pictures will be submitted to the Control Centre in Houston, where they will be analyzed to detect any heat shield damage suffered from the impacts of small meteoroids, orbital or waste pieces of ice detached from the external tank during the shuttle's ascent orbit.

Afterwards, Mark Kelly final maneuvers near the speed of three centimeters per second, a very delicate maneuver when the two spacecraft have a cruise speed of over 28,000 kilometers per second.

Shuttle Endeavour was launched on Monday morning at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral for a space mission that will last 16 days. A first launch attempt was canceled on April 29 due to electrical disturbances.

This is the 25th mission for the space shuttle Endeavour, which will be the last, in 19 years of service in the service of NASA. Among the six astronaut crew and the Italian Roberto Vitti is the European Space Agency (ESA).

Endeavour and its crew carrying International Space Station Alpha magnetic spectrometer 2, a fundamental physics experiment module, built in order to decipher some of the biggest mysteries of the universe, antimatter and the existence or nature of dark matter, invisible. This area forms about 25% of the universe. This is the first time a magnetic spectrometer will be sent into space.

Spectrometer (AMS) is the result of international collaboration coordinated by Professor Samuel Ting of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Nobel laureate for physics in 1976 and initiator of this scientific project will be transported by shuttle Endeavour.

Approximately 60 laboratories in 16 countries participating in this project, the main contributions being made by the United States, Europe (Germany, Spain, Finland, France, Holland, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland), China and Taiwan.

In addition to AMS, the shuttle Endeavour carrying module Express Logistics Carrier (ELC), which will be permanently attached to the ISS.

The technical problems that caused postponement will delay the launch of shuttle Endeavour shuttle launch another American, Atlantis, which was scheduled for 28 June. NASA has not yet announced an exact date, believes that Atlantis could be launched in the second week of July.

Endeavour was first launched in May 1992 and was built to replace Challenger, destroyed in the catastrophe of 1986.

NASA wants to save money to develop new spacecraft capable of traveling beyond the orbit of the ISS.


Russian space agency NASA charged with over 50 million dollars for each place on board the Soyuz capsule. On board the Soyuz capsule can pick up three astronauts.

ISS, whose construction began in 1998 and is permanently occupied since November 2000, is in orbit at an altitude of 350 kilometers, making one complete revolution around the Earth every 90 minutes, speed sailing average of 28,000 miles per hour.

ISS is a space project worth 100 billion dollars, mainly financed by the United States of America and to the 16 countries that participate.


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