Rendezvous with Destiny

A fateful mission begins well as the shuttle reels in the Hubble Telescope

When the shuttle Endeavour blasted into space last Thursday morning, its near flawless lift-off lighting up Florida's predawn skies and dazzling onlookers in and around the Kennedy Space Center, NASA officials felt a mix of relief and tense anticipation. Though the launch was delayed a day by bad weather, the countdown was free of the technical glitches that had grounded shuttles so many times before. But the really hard part was yet to come: a week of dangerous and delicate maneuvers performed more than 300 miles up in space. The challenge facing Endeavour's seven-member crew was not just to fix the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!