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February 17th, 2010
An exhaust cloud engulfs Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida as space shuttle Endeavour lifts off into the night sky.
Launch of the STS-130 mission to the International Space Station was at 4:14 a.m. EST. This was the second launch attempt for space shuttle Endeavour's STS-130 crew and the final scheduled space shuttle night launch. The first attempt on February 7, 2010 was scrubbed due to unfavorable weather.
The primary payload for the STS-130 mission to the International Space Station is the Tranquility node, a pressurized module that will provide additional room for crew members and many of the station's life support and environmental control systems. Attached to one end of Tranquility is a cupola, a unique work area with six windows on its sides and one on top. The cupola resembles a circular bay window and will provide a vastly improved view of the station's exterior. The multi-directional view will allow the crew to monitor spacewalks and docking operations, as well as provide a spectacular view of Earth and other celestial objects. The module was built in Turin, Italy, by Thales Alenia Space for the European Space Agency.
Kennedy Media Gallery: KSC-2010-1674
Photo credit: NASA/Sandra Joseph and Kevin 'Connell.