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Monday, May 16, 2011

Watch the STS-134 Launch Live
The Last Flight of Endeavour

Endeavour's last flight, and the next to last flight of the space shuttle program, is scheduled for today after a delay due to technical difficulties associated with APU heater circuits. Hopefully, that has been fixed and the launch can go off today.

STS-134 (ISS assembly flight ULF6)[4] is the penultimate voyage of the Space Shuttle. This flight will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and anExPRESS Logistics Carrier to the International Space Station.[5] The mission will also mark the final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour.[6] Mark E. Kelly will serve as the mission commander. STS-134 was expected to be the final space shuttle mission if STS-135 did not receive funding from Congress; however, in February 2011, NASA stated that STS-135 would fly "regardless" of the funding situation.[7]
Changes in the design of the main payload, AMS-02, as well as delays to STS-133 have led to delays in the mission. April 29, 2011 May 16, 2011 is the current target launch date.[1] STS-134's Launch On Need mission, a contingency mission to rescue a stranded STS-134 crew, would be the STS-335 flight, flown byAtlantis.
Kelly's wife, Gabrielle Giffords, is planning to attend the launch. This will be her first trip since moving from Tucson to Houston in January after an attempted assassination. Giffords' planned appearance at Kennedy Space Center is giving the launch a high profile, "one of the most anticipated in years," according to the New York Times. President Obama is also scheduled to be in Florida for the launch. This will be the first time a sitting president has attended a launch since 1998.[8] The President was at the space center on the original launch date, but will not be able to attend the launch today...[link]
Source: Wikipedia

Here is livestream from NASA so that you might enjoy the launch live. I will replace it with a video replay after the launch. The launch is currently scheduled for 8.56am EDT.

And here is the video feed from the crew at SpaceVidCast...

Here are a few videos regarding this last flight of the Endeavour:
Mission Overview...

Tribute video...

And a lightning strike video to serve as a parting shot...

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