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The storm clouds stayed far enough away so that space shuttle Endeavour and her STS-127 crew finally launched on July 15 on its sixth attempt. The video here shows spectacular views, from the camera mounted on the shuttle’s external tank, showing the launchpad dropping away below, and then the separation of the shuttle’s twin boosters two minutes and five seconds into the flight. Watching the video here, multiple pieces of foam insulation can be seen falling away from the external tank during the early moments of flight. The crew is working today on heat shield inspections to see if any significant damage occurred from any foam strikes on the belly of the orbiter.
Endeavour will meet up with the International Space Station on Friday. The six ISS astronauts will photograph the heat shield tiles to look for any signs of damage, as well.
The mission will include five spacewalks and the installation of the “porch” or exterior portion of the Japanese Kibo module.
Enjoy the ride along to orbit!