NASA sent the space shuttle Endeavour off into space for the final time at approximately 8:56 a.m. EDT.
Endeavour's crew now begins a 16-day mission, which will see them deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) and spare parts including two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank, and additional spare parts for Dextre to the International Space Station.
The teams stayed focused, and made this launch a success, said Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier in a press conference. The mission in front of us is no easy mission, the EVAs (extra vehicular activities) are very demanding -- but it'll be exciting to see the AMS (Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer) get installed on the station and get some real research data for the ISS.
The mission was delayed more than two weeks because it of a problem with the heating auxiliary power unit-1 (APU-1). NASA technicians spent two weeks fixing the issue, replacing components and testing out new equipment. On Monday, there were no issues and after the launch, NASA gave an award to the team who fixed the APU issue.
I can't thank the teams that got this vehicle ready to fly and for all the work they've done, said Gerstenmaier. The teams worked really hard to get through that, get it behind and to understand what the problem was -- and it was no problem to us at all during the count.
Here is a look back at the mission.