Space shuttle Endeavour lifts off

NASA Prepares For Launch Of Space Shuttle Endeavour

After more than a month’s delay due to weather and problems with a hydrogen gas leak, the NASA space shuttle Endeavour finally roared into space on Wednesday, carrying seven astronauts onboard. The launch occurred at 6:03 p.m. (EDT) from Space Launch Complex 39A at Florida’s Kennedy Space Center.

On the way up, multiple pieces of foam insulation fell from Endeavour’s external fuel tank. Some struck the orbiter’s underside but a US space agency official downplayed the potential for damage to the craft or danger to the crew.

Endeavour is carrying the last two pieces of hardware needed to complete Japan’s $1-billion Kibo laboratory. It’s also carrying six fresh batteries that will store electricity from some of the station’s solar panels.