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NASA confirms final Endeavour blastoff scheduled for Monday

RIA Novosti

01:58 15/05/2011

MOSCOW, May 15 (RIA Novosti) - NASA on Saturday confirmed that the final launch of the shuttle Endeavour, which has been put off several times due to technical failures, will take place on Monday.

"The shuttle Mission Management Team met at 3p EDT and voted unanimously to proceed toward Endeavour's targeted liftoff at 8:56a [12:56 GMT] Monday," NASA said in its Twitter microblog.

During Endeavour's final 14 days in space it will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) and spare parts including two S-band communications antennas and a high-pressure gas tank to the International Space Station (ISS).

After Endeavour, Atlantis is due to perform the final space shuttle mission in July.

Once the shuttle fleet is retired, Russian Soyuz craft will be the only way for astronauts to reach the ISS until at least the middle of the decade. NASA is paying its Russian counterpart Roscosmos more than $1 billion for crew transport services over the next four years.

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