The FINANCIAL — According to RIA Novosti, the NASA Endeavor space shuttle that was launched on February 8 on a mission to the International Space Station (ISS) has successfully reached low-Earth orbit.
NASA initially planned to launch the shuttle, carrying a crew of six astronauts, on Sunday from its Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but lift-off was delayed by bad weather.
"About two minutes into flight, the external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters propelling Endeavour into space successfully separated and fell away. The shuttle and its crew have safely attained low-Earth orbit," NASA said on its website.
The STS-130 crew comprises commander George Zamka, pilot Terry Virts and mission specialists Nicholas Patrick, Robert Behnken, Stephen Robinson and Kathryn Hire.
The shuttle 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 mission will feature three spacewalks – on February 11, 13 and 16.
Separation from the ISS is scheduled for February 20.