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The Endeavor took off - Ramon will take off on the next flight, on January 16

Avi Blizovsky

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After many delays, the Endeavor took off on its way to the Or International Space Station on Sunday Israel time. It carries with it a replacement team for a team that stays for more than five months at the station as well as an addition to the station skeleton - a component that costs 390 million dollars.
Initially, the launch was delayed about two weeks ago due to an oxygen leak, then a malfunction was discovered in the robotic arm with which they are supposed to assemble the International Space Station, and finally - bad weather at the emergency landing sites that NASA prepares for each shuttle before each launch.

The launch took place at 19:50 midnight Eastern Time (02:50 - Sunday morning time, Israel time). The shuttle will stay in space for 11 days and will bring supplies, equipment and new staff to replace the three crew members currently living on the station.
The six Americans and the Russian on the space shuttle are scheduled to arrive at the station during Monday. Three of them: Kenneth Bowersox, Donald Pettit and Nikoli Bodarin will live on the space station for the next four months. They will replace Valery Curzon, Sergey Treshchev and Peggy Whitson who have been on the shuttle since June - one month longer than planned.
Two other crew members, Mike Lopez-Alegria, and John Herringon, who is also the first American Indian in space, will perform three spacewalks to connect the new 14-ton, 14-meter-long axle. Eventually the International Space Station will reach the length of a football field.

This is the last flight before the flight of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon, who is scheduled to take off aboard the shuttle Columbia on January 16, 2003. Currently, the delays have not reached the point of interfering with the next flight.

Endeavor launch delayed due to rain in Spain. Explanations inside


Not going to the Endeavor crew, and even more so, to the crew of the International Space Station who are already fed up with space and want to return to Earth. Yesterday evening according to US Eastern Time (today early morning Israel time) the shuttle Endeavor was finally supposed to take off to the International Space Station.
As I recall, two major faults were discovered in it - an oxygen leak from the crew compartment and a fault in the robotic arm with which the astronauts are supposed to assist in the construction of the space station. Now a natural threat has also been added - rain in Spain. What is the connection between rain in Spain and the space shuttle? Well, as part of the preparations for a shuttle flight, several airports in Southern Europe and North Africa are on standby, in case the shuttle gains height in the atmosphere, but does not leave it and fails to reach the runway.
The current shuttle's route probably brings it over Spain, however the shuttle is more sensitive to weather when landing than a normal plane because it is actually a glider and its maneuverability is very limited. A wind might veer it off course towards a crash.

The robotic arm has been repaired - Endeavor is scheduled for launch today

After the final tests were completed, NASA authorized the space shuttle Endeavor to complete preparations for launch today, Friday. NASA officials said that the spacecraft's robotic arm is in good condition and will be safe for use in assembling the International Space Station.
The control center reported the good news to the three new occupants of the International Space Station, where they will arrive aboard the Endeavour. We are talking about a Russian commander and two American astronauts, and the three members of the current crew consist of an American female commander and two Russian cosmonauts. Peggy Whitson, commander of the station's current crew, which is due to return to Earth, expressed her joy.
As I recall, the flight has been delayed for about two weeks, first due to an oxygen leak from the passenger cabin, and then due to the launch of Boeing's Delta 4 rocket from the Canaveral fun. Therefore, the current crew's stay in space was extended even further, after all the delays that occurred due to the malfunction in the fuel pipes that caused the shutdown of the entire US shuttle fleet.

The launch of the new Delta 4 missile was successful * A communication satellite was launched into space

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