Nasa’s Endeavour space shuttle has been launched into space on the sixth attempt after delays due to technical issues and weather concerns.

The Endeavour will deliver the final segment of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kibo laboratory and a new crew member to the International Space Station.

The 16-day mission will include five spacewalks and the installation of two platforms outside the Japanese module to allow experiments that will be directly exposed to space.

One of the platforms is permanent while the other is an experimental storage pallet that will be detached and returned with the shuttle.

During the mission, the Kibo’s robotic arm will transfer three experiments from the pallet to the exposed platform.

The STS-127 is the 127th space shuttle flight, the 29th to the station, the 23rd for Endeavour and the third in 2009.

The space shuttle is scheduled to return to Nasa’s Kennedy Space Center on 31 July 2009.

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