Shuttle Endeavor to Take Off on April 29
In order to avoid a space traffic jam with the Progress unmanned mission, set to take off on the same date, NASA decided to postpone the last launch in Endeavor's career. On Wednesday, the agency confirmed that the new launch date is April 29.
On her final journey into space, Endeavor will be transporting to the ISS spare parts, supplies and a $2 billion astrophysics experiment. The mission, dubbed STS-134, is scheduled to last for 14 days, but Mike Moses, NASA's shuttle program launch integration manager, told Space.com that that can be extended to 16 days.
"We'll probably add those two days, taking that to a 16-day mission, but we won't do that until we get on orbit and see what we've got," Moses told the source. "All in all it's going to be a very busy mission, very packed."
At the end of which the shuttle will make her return trip to land for the final time. After NASA completes stripping the shuttle from all potentially harmful and non-essential parts, the craft will be taken into custody by the California Science Center in Los Angeles. That will leave only one shuttle running, the Atlantis, which will follow the same process later in the year, after it too makes its final flight.