(Sen) - NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour lifted off today from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, bound for the International Space Station (ISS). The launch took place at 4.14am local team (9.14 GMT).
The 13 day mission - STS-130 - is to deliver additional parts for assembly at the ISS.
This is one of the last ever missions for the Space Shuttle, with the remaining flights scheduled to take place by September 2010.
Endeavour itself has one more mission at the end of July.
The night lift off was the last scheduled night launch for the spacecraft.
On board Endeavour are Commander George Zamka, pilot Terry Virts and mission specialists Bob Behnken, British born Dr Nicholas Patrick, Kathryn Hire and Steve Robinson. Cambridge graduate Dr Patrick was born in North Yorkshire in 1964 and became a US citizen in 1994. This is Dr Patrick's second space shuttle flight having also taken part on mission STS-116 (the hundred and sixteenth space shuttle mission).
"A room with a view"
The mission is to deliver Node 3, known as "Tranquility", and Cupola to the ISS. Tranquility will provide additional room for crew members and many of the space station’s life support and environmental control systems. Attached to the node is a cupola, which is a robotic control station with six windows around its sides and another in the center that will provide a panoramic view of Earth, celestial objects and visiting spacecraft.
Tucked away inside Tranquility and Endeavour’s middeck are a ton of equipment, supplies and experiments for the space station.
At least three spacewalks are planned during the mission to assist with the assembly of Tranquility and the cupola. These will be undertaken by Dr Patrick and Robert Behnken.
After Endeavour returns from this mission there will be just four more flights of the shuttle. The final - and 134th flight - is scheduled to take place in September 2010 with Discovery undertaking the final mission.