St. Petersburg Times Online: News of Florida
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
  • State tries to set record straight on school funding
  • Bush shields fund for land
  • Shuttle lifts relief crew into orbit
  • Democrats cry politics in redistricting trial

  • From the state wire

  • Hurricane Jeanne appears on track to hit Florida's east coast
  • Rumor mill working overtime after Florida hurricanes
  • Developments associated with Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne
  • Four killed in Panhandle plane crash were on Ivan charity mission
  • Hurricane Frances caused estimated $4.4 billion in insured damage
  • Disabled want more handicapped-accessible voting machines
  • USF forces administrators to resign over test score changes
  • Man's death at Universal Studios ruled accidental
  • State child welfare workers in Miami fail to do background checks
  • Hurricane Jeanne heads toward southeast U.S. coast
  • Hurricane Jeanne spurs more anxiety for storm-weary Floridians
  • Mistrial declared in case where teen was target of racial "joke"
  • Panhandle utility wants sewer plant moved to higher ground
  • State employee arrested on theft, bribery charges
  • Homestead house fire kills four children, one adult
  • Pierson leader tries to cut off relief to local fern cutters
  • Florida's high court rules Terri's law unconstitutional
  • Jacksonville students punished for putting stripper pole in dorm
  • FEMA handling nearly 600,000 applications for help
  • Man who killed wife, niece, self also killed mother in 1971
  • Producer sues city over lead ball fired by Miami police
  • Tourism suffers across Florida after pummeling by hurricanes
  • Key dates in the life of Terri Schiavo
  • An excerpt from the unanimous ruling in the Schiavo case
  • Four confirmed dead after small plane crash in Panhandle
  • Correction: Disney-Cruise Line story
  • tampabay.com

    printer version

    Shuttle lifts relief crew into orbit

    By DAVID BALLINGRUD, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published June 6, 2002

    KENNEDY SPACE CENTER -- In one sense, NASA is just driving a truck full of supplies and a new work crew to a construction site.

    But what a truck and what a job site.

    At 5:23 p.m. Wednesday, the space shuttle Endeavour was launched into low Earth orbit from the Kennedy Space Center on a mission to repair and resupply the international space station.

    The successful liftoff came after NASA's patient launch managers found an opening in the cloudy summer skies. They had tried to launch May 30, but bad weather and a faulty pressure valve pushed the launch into this week.

    As a precaution against terrorists, fighter jets patrolled restricted airspace around the launch pad until after liftoff. In midafternoon, a small plane that had taken off from a flight school was ordered out of the restricted area and instructed to land. The plane came no closer than 40 miles to the shuttle, Air Force officials said.

    "This (space shuttle) is a high-value target," NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe said in a postlaunch news conference. "We make no apologies for the security arrangements. They are a product of the world we live in." An Israeli astronaut will be aboard the next shuttle flight, scheduled for July 19.

    Endeavour and crew will spend today jockeying into rendezvous position, then will attach to the station Friday. In the next few days Endeavour's crew will drop off a new station crew -- two Russian men and an American woman -- and 5,600 pounds of food, water and supplies.

    The arriving space station crew is called Expedition 5, and it continues the permanent and continuous occupation of the station, which began with Expedition 1 in November 2000. A Russian, Valery Korzun, is the new commander. He is joined by an American biochemist, Peggy Whitson, and another Russian, Sergei Treschev.

    The Expedition 4 crew is eager to return to Earth with Endeavour. "They were delighted to see the launch today," O'Keefe joked.

    It's not hard to understand why. Americans Daniel Bursch and Carl Walz and Russian commander Yuri Onufrienko rocketed into orbit six months ago. By the time Endeavour's 12-day flight ends June 17, Bursch and Walz will have set a U.S. space endurance record. Wednesday marked their 182nd day in orbit.

    The shuttle's crew has scheduled three spacewalks during the 13-day mission to connect cables, replace equipment and install a large grappling device. Also, the shuttle's robot arm needs a new wrist joint, and a couple of spacewalks will be required to accomplish that.

    Back to State news
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
     
    Special Links
    Lucy Morgan


    From the Times state desk