The space shuttle Endeavour has docked with the International Space Station this morning in a flawless manouver.
The crew of six will spend nine days on board the ISS and perform three spacewalks to install the ISS’s two final major components; the station’s last connecting hub and a dome-shaped observation platform with seven windows.
The year’s remaining four shuttle missions will bring up cargo platforms, spare parts and experiments, and then the shuttle era will end with the craft’s retirement. After that NASA will rely on the Russians for liaisons with the ISS, which will cost them over 36 million euros per seat on the Soyuz spaceship.
“It was absolutely beautiful coming on up as we were looking in the window we couldn’t believe how spectacular and shiny the space station was,” said flight commander George Zamka.
Building the ISS has cost the 16 partner nations around 73 billion euros.