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Endeavour's Final Launch, in Pictures [Slide Show]

Space shuttle Endeavour, the replacement for the doomed Challenger, set off on its final mission May 16
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56 SECONDS AFTER LAUNCH:

Here's the post-launch scene at KSC after Endeavour had disappeared through the cloud deck. The cloud formed by Endeavour itself began to drift upward and southward, merging with nature's own cloud formations.....[ More ]

8 SECONDS AFTER LAUNCH

Another shot of Endeavour's lift-off, with the countdown clock indicating that the photo was taken 8 seconds post-launch.....[ More ]

LIFTOFF:

Space shuttle Endeavour soars into orbit on its 16-day, STS 134 mission to the International Space Station. Landing is set for June 1.
....[ More ]

SECOND LAUNCH ATTEMPT:

Endeavour on the launch pad on the morning of May 16.....[ More ]

CENTER OF ATTENTION:

George Musser took this dramatic shot on the eve of Endeavour's first launch attempt in late April.....[ More ]

MEDIA FRENZY:

Media gathered April 26 at KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility to see the STS-134 astronauts following their arrival in T-38 training jets. The six astronauts for space shuttle Endeavour 's final flight are on a 16-day mission to the International Space Station.....[ More ]

ZERO DAYS:

George Musser, who covers space for Scientific American , took this shot as he approached Kennedy Space Center in late April, to cover the first launch attempt.....[ More ]

COMMANDER KELLY:

STS 134 Commander Mark Kelly smiles after climbing into his orange launch-and-entry suit on April 16. Kelly's role in the mission gained more media attention after the January 8 shooting of his wife U.S.....[ More ]

STS 134 CREW:

Commander Mark Kelly [center] and his crewmates pose for a photograph following their arrival at Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on April 26 for the first launch attempt. From left are mission specialists Greg Chamitoff and Andrew Feustel, Kelly, Pilot Greg H.....[ More ]

ENDEAVOUR ON PAD:

An arrow on this shot points to the hatch that technicians used to access the aft load control assembly, the failure of which forced a scrub of the first launch attempt for Endeavour , on April 29.....[ More ]

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