December 16, 2019

21.05.11: Student Project catches STS-134 launch…from 100,000ft!

Endeavour on her way the orbit one last time…(Credit: Quest for Stars).

A unique sentinel was on hand to witness the final launch of the space shuttle Endeavour this past Monday. Senatobia-1, an airborne observatory equipped with still and video cameras, lifted off the morning of the launch to snap the above picture from a unique vantage point. You can plainly see the curve of our home-world as Endeavour breaks the surly bonds, one last time. The project was “launched” from near Gainesville, Florida and was a joint venture between Quest for Stars and the Challenger Center for Space Science Education and the Coalition for Space Exploration. The project was the second such successful imaging run of a shuttle launch and demonstrates a successful partnership of students conducting citizen science. The mission was Tweeted, carried by UStream, and posted on YouTube during the launch phase:

One could even conceive of further balloon-based sky & Earth observing projects, as student led space campaigns take off… if the name “Senatobia” sounds familiar, that’s because it was the town of Senatobia, Mississippi that suggested the name Endeavour for the orbiter back in 1988.

Endeavour is currently docked to the International Space Station, and spacewalks have been underway to install the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. The orbiter is slated to land one last time at the Kennedy Space Center on June 1st

Congrats to the “Ground Control team” of Senatobia-1 and your well synchronized “catch!”

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