Chris Alexander

On Engineering

Space Shuttle Endeavour - Night Launch

17th February, 2010

There’s something really spectacular about a Shuttle launch at the best of times. A night launch, however, is particularly good to look at.

The last launch to the International Space Station, STS-130, lifted off last week. It featured the Space Shuttle Endeavour taking Node 3 (“Tranquility”) to the ISS, along with a cupola window for the astronauts to get some spectacular views of Earth (as well as making missions with the Canadarm 2 considerably easier).

This mission has also featured a first, where Twitter users were able to send questions to the astronauts which they then answered in a video conversation with Mission Control. Twitter is now truly out of this world!

About 2:30 a.m., Behnken and Patrick fielded questions from Twitter fans, radioed up from Mission Control by spacecraft communicator Michael Massimino. In the first-of-its-kind event, questions were submitted by dozens of Massimino’s million-plus following of “tweeps.” About three hours later, Virts and Hire fielded questions from Associated Press, CBS News and Reuters reporters. - Source

Here’s some photos from the mission so far, and embedded is the video of the launch.