Endeavour soars on 2nd-to-last space shuttle trip

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Monday, May 16, 2011

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- The space shuttle Endeavour is on its way to the international space station -- after a liftoff witnessed by the commander's wife, Congresswoman Gabrielle
Giffords.

The launch was supposed to take place more than two weeks ago, but was delayed by an electrical problem. Giffords again made the trip from Houston, where she's still undergoing treatment and rehabilitation for the bullet wound to the head she suffered in January. She and the other astronaut families watched the liftoff in private.

Before the launch, her husband, commander Mark Kelly, thanked all the workers who involved in preparing the shuttle.

A crowd estimated in the hundreds of thousands was on hand for the launch -- the last for Endeavour, and the next-to-last of the space shuttle program.

One man visiting from Montreal described the launch as "four seconds of cool."

The five Americans and one Italian on board will deliver a $2 billion magnetic instrument that will seek out antimatter and dark energy in the universe.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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