At Last, Endeavour Reaches ISS

Shuttle arrives nearly a month late for construction mission
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2009 1:58 PM CDT
The space shuttle Endeavour does a back flip to allow photographs to be taken of its entire surface as it approaches the international space station before docking Friday, July 17, 2009.    (AP Photo/NASA TV)
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(Newser) – Space shuttle Endeavour docked today at the International Space Station, an important milestone in its oft-delayed mission, reports. The crew is scheduled to board the ISS later today. When the Endeavour's seven astronauts climb on, they will push the station's total population to a record-high 13.

"I'm sure there's going to be a lot of emotion as you see your friends up there and it's always an exciting time to do that," said Endeavour commander Mark Polansky. "And then after about five minutes of, 'Boy, this is really cool!' back to work." The Endeavour crew’s mission is to install a new space-side experiment platform on the Japanese-built Kibo lab.