NASA space shuttle Endeavour has launched on its 25th and final mission, the 134th since the shuttle program began in 1981. It is the next-to-last ‘go’ before NASA retires its three-ship fleet this summer.
On board the flight from Kennedy Space Center are six men and some glowing bobtailed squid, for a microgravity experiment.
Heavier cargo includes supplies for the International Space Station and the two billion dollar Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer particle detector.
NASA wants to develop new spaceships that can go further than the 350-odd kilometre orbit range of the Space Station.
The six-man American, Italian and Canadian crew of Endeavour is scheduled to spend 12 days out there, expected to dock on Wednesday.