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It's blast-off for Endeavour's final trip

THE US space shuttle Endeavour blasted off yesterday on its last flight in NASA's programme.

It is carrying a potentially revolutionary physics experiment to the International Space Station.

The flight is the 25th and final one for the spacecraft, which is expected to reach the orbital outpost tomorrow.

Endeavour's last mission is being commanded by shuttle veteran Mark Kelly, who is married to US Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

Endeavour is carrying the $2bn (€1.4bn) Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer particle detector, which is designed to analyse cosmic rays for fingerprints of phenomena undetectable by traditional telescopes. It is due to return on June 1.

Irish Independent