Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Most People in Space

Lift off for STS 127

Following the launch of the much delayed Space Shuttle Endeavour launch on Wednesday morning there are now a record 13 (oh oh!) people in orbit at the same time.

Apollo 11 launch on 16th July 1969

The shuttle was delayed five times, including by lightning strikes, but set off for the International Space Station on the eve of the fortieth anniversary of Apollo 11's launch. The flight left from the same launch pad (39A) as the moon landing flight.

The crew of the shuttle Endeavour

The shuttle will rendezvous with the ISS this afternoon. There was some concern over the amount of shielding foam which broke off the external tank and hit the shuttle during the launch (as happened in the disastrous Columbia mission in 2003) but an inspection by remote camera on a boom attached to the shuttle's manipulator arm didn't highlight anything to worry about.