We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

AP/NASA via PA Images

Preparations underway for space shuttle Endeavour's final flight

The final mission by Endeavour and its crew will begin this evening at 19.47 Irish time, and among those attending will be Barack Obama.

SPACE SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR is to go on its final flight tonight, at around 3.47pm EDT (8.47pm GMT).

The shuttle will set off from launch pad 39A of the Kennedy Space Centre for its 25th and final mission – Mission STS-134. STS stands for ‘space transportation system’.

Notably, STS-135, featuring the space shuttle Atlantis, will be the final space shuttle launch ever, and comes at the end of 30 years of the space shuttle programme. Six astronauts will journey on board the shuttle to the International Space Station, bringing supplies with them.

They will also bring a machine called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), which took 17 years to build and is worth $2 billion.

This device will help scientists to look at cosmic rays, which are by-products of cosmic phenomenon.

NASA says that it expects around 700,000 visitors at the launch, reports.

Among those attending will be Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot while meeting constituents outside a Safeway supermarket on 8 January. She was critically injured by a gunshot wound to the head, but is in recovery and staying at a rehabilitation facility in Houston.

Her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, will be commanding the mission.

President Barack Obama and family will also be there, which will be the first time that a First Family will watch a shuttle launch together.

Those of us far from Florida can watch the event as it happens from the comfort of our homes, via the live stream.

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.