Space Shuttle Endeavour


Space Shuttle Endeavour was the fifth and newest of all the shuttle orbiters. The first flight of the orbiter Endeavour was STS-49 mission in May 7, 1992. Space Shuttle Endeavour was named after the first ship commanded by James Cook. Captain James Cook was an 18th century British explorer, navigator and astronomer.

Space Shuttle Endeavour

Structural assembly of Crew Module began in February 15, 1982. Authorization to construct the fifth Space Shuttle orbiter as a replacement for Challenger was granted by Congress on August 1, 1987. Structural assembly of the aft-fuselage began on September 28, 1987 and the wings arrived at Palmdale, California from Grumman on December 22, 1987. Final assembly was completed on July 6, 1990. Endeavour was rolled out from Palmdale on April 25, 1991 and delivered to Kennedy Space Center on May 7, 1991. The flight readiness firing was April 6, 1992 and the first flight (STS-49) was on May 7, 1992.


In 1988 NASA held an Orbiter Naming student competition for Challenger’s replacement. Space Shuttle Endeavour was named after the British ship HMS Endeavour. Captain James Cook on his famous voyage of discovery (1768–1771) to Australia and New Zealand also went to Tahiti (South Pacific) to observe and record the rare event of the transit of Venus.

The spelling of Endeavour has caused confusion because in the United Kingdom they spell it with the letter’u’, whereas in the United States there is no ‘U’ – Endeavor.


Endeavour was primarily used for missions to the International Space Station. The first mission to the ISS was STS-88 in December 1998.

Endeavour was used in the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). It was launched February 11, 2000 on a 11 day duration mission. The Shuttle Radar Topography Mission was a joint project between the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and NASA. The aim of the project was to produce digital topographic data for 80% of the Earth’s land surface.

Endeavour made the first service mission to the Hubble Space Telescope in December 1993.

It flew 25 missions in total.

Space Shuttle Launch:

The Space Shuttle Endeavour is launched from Florida.

The Space Shuttle Endeavour works in the same way as the other orbiters. It consists of the Shuttle orbiter, 2 solid rocket boosters and an expendable external tank. The Orbiter uses 3 SSME Rocket Engines which use Liquid Hydrogen and Liquid Oxygen as propellants. The payload is carried in the cargo bay.


First flight of Endeavour was STS-49 on 7th May 1992

Endeavour has flown 19 flights and the last one was STS-113 in November 2002, which was the flight before Space Shuttle Columbia Disaster. Major upgrade modifications to the orbiter began in December 2003, which include recommended return to flight safety modifications. The next one is STS-118.

Last flight of Endeavour was STS-134 on 16th May 2011.


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