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Space shuttle Endeavour set to blast off on Feb. 7


Space shuttle Endeavour's payload bay doors have been closed for launch. Secured in the bay is the primary payload for Endeavour's STS-130 mission, the Tranquility node. NASA photo.

WASHINGTON (BNS): NASA has announced the launch of space shuttle Endeavour on February 7.

The space shuttle will blast off at 4:39 a.m. EST to deliver the Tranquility node and cupola to the International Space Station, a NASA statement said on Wednesday.

"We reviewed all the aspects of the shuttle and space station… the processing in Florida has gone exceptionally well," said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations.

"This is really a complicated mission … if you take a look through the press kits you'll gain an appreciation of what will be going on at the station," he said.

The mission is the first of five final flights before the shuttle programme ends in September.The shuttle is the only craft capable of ferrying large equipment into space.

Endeavour and its crew will deliver to the space station a third connecting module, the Italian-built Tranquility node and the seven-windowed cupola, which will be used as a control room for robotics.

The space shuttle's 13-day flight will include three spacewalks.

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