Rising on twin columns of fire and kicking up a trail of smoke and steam, space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida beginning its final flight, the STS-134 mission, to the International Space Station. Launch was on time at 8:56 a.m. EDT on May 16.
STS-134 and its six-member crew will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 (AMS), Express Logistics Carrier-3, a high-pressure gas tank and additional spare parts for the Dextre robotic helper to the space station. Endeavour's first launch attempt on April 29 was scrubbed because of an issue associated with a faulty power distribution box called the aft load control assembly-2 (ALCA-2). For more information visit, www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts134/index.html. Photo credit: NASA