Endeavour poised to take its last flight into space

The U.S. space agency NASA is preparing the space shuttle Endeavour for a launch today, its final voyage before retiring and the next-to-last launch for the 30-year space shuttle program.

The Endeavour mission was originally supposed to begin in late April, but electrical problems forced repeated delays.

The flight to the International Space Station is commanded by astronaut Mark Kelley, who is the husband of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was critically wounded during a shooting rampage in the state of Arizona in January.

Ms. Giffords is expected to attend Monday’s launch at the Kennedy Space Center with an expected 500,000 other spectators. Weather forecasters say there is a 70 percent chance of good weather for the launch. Liftoff is at 6:56 a.m. San José time.

NASA finishes its shuttle program for good with the scheduled launch of Atlantis in July. A third shuttle, the Discovery, returned from its final flight in March.

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