Foto : NASA/Fletcher Hildreth
Under a dry, hot, cloud-washed Florida sky, space shuttle Atlantis roars off Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida with its crew of seven for a rendezvous with NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The launch was on time at 2:01 p.m. EDT. Atlantis' 11-day flight will include five spacewalks to refurbish and upgrade the telescope with state-of-the-art science instruments that will expand Hubble's capabilities and extend its operational lifespan through at least 2014. The payload includes the Wide Field Camera 3, fine guidance sensor and the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph.