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Endeavour to dock with ISS on Wednesday

RIA Novosti

13:42 17/05/2011

MOSCOW, May 17 (RIA Novosti) - The U.S. space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station at 2.15 pm Moscow time (10:15 GMT) on Wednesday, Russian Mission Control said.

Endeavour blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center on Monday for its 25th and final flight.

The launch was originally planned for April 29, but was delayed several times due to schedule and technical problems.

The crew, led by Mark Edward Kelly, includes pilot Gregory H. Johnson, U.S. astronauts Andrew J. Feustel, Edward Michael Fincke and Gregory Errol Chamitoff, and Italian astronaut Roberto Vittori.

During Endeavour's final 16 days in space it will deliver to the ISS a $2-billion Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer for research of anti-matter in the universe and spare parts, including two S-band communications antennas and a high-pressure gas tank.

The crew will carry out four spacewalks during the mission.

The Endeavour will be the second to last NASA space shuttle to retire. The Atlantis is due to perform its final 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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