NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour is en route to the International Space Station for its resupply mission, STS-126, after lifting off from Kennedy Space Center at 19:55EST on 14 November.

Endeavour is transporting seven crew members for the 15-day flight, the tasks for which will include providing additional accommodation facilities on the ISS in order for it to house a crew of six from next year.

The Multi-Purpose Logistics Module in the Shuttle's payload bay will be attached to the ISS on flight day four, and deliver several items - including two sleeping quarters, crew-exercise equipment and water-recovery systems - as part of the refurbishment.

 Shuttle Endeavour STS-126


NASA states: "The Shuttle and station crews will collaborate on the delivery of key life-support and habitability systems that will enable long-term, self-sustaining station operations after the Shuttle fleet is retired."

Among the other principal requirements of STS-126 is the maintenance of two rotary joints which allow the ISS's photovoltaic cells to rotate and track the sun.

Flight engineer Sandra Magnus will be delivered to the ISS as part of the current crew while the Shuttle will return flight engineer Greg Chamitoff from the ISS to Earth on 29 November.

Source: Flight International