Shuttle Endeavour will be visible over UK just after final launch

April 27, 2011 By Adrian West
Credit: Adrian West

On April 29th, 2011, the space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to blast off for the last time, delivering the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and an ExPRESS Logistics Carrier to the International Space Station.

If you live in the UK you can watch the launch live on TV and a number of other sites on the internet, but that’s not all you can do! You may be able to watch it fly over the UK with your very own eyes about 20 minutes later!

Yes! You can watch the Shuttle fly over the UK roughly 20 minutes after launch (launch time is currently set for 3:47 p.m. EDT – 8:47 p.m. GMT) if the timing is right and skies are clear. It will be accompanied by its bright orange external fuel tank as it sails across the sky.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.

I was lucky to see and actually film this in August 2009 with the launch of STS-128 Space Shuttle Discovery.

How to see it? Go outside roughly 15 – 20 minutes after launch and you could see two bright objects similar to what the ISS looks like when it passes over, moving at roughly the same speed. These bright objects in parallel to each other will follow a similar track in the sky to what the ISS does, but it will be the Shuttle Endeavour and its separated external fuel tank!

Hope for clear skies and that the launch isn’t delayed, as this may be our last chance ever of seeing a space shuttle fly over the UK just after launch.

Checkout NASA’s listing of sighting opportunities for your area.

Good luck to the crew of the shuttle and to everyone trying to spot it in the sky on Friday!

Explore further: NASA: progress studying shuttle tank foam

Related Stories

NASA: progress studying shuttle tank foam

October 17, 2005

NASA engineers say they are closer to resolving the problem of large chunks of foam insulation falling off space shuttle external fuel tanks during launch.

NASA revises shuttle launch dates

February 18, 2008

The U.S. space agency has revised the launch dates for space shuttle flights during the second half of 2008, necessitated by the delayed STS-122 launch.

NASA gets ready for another space mission

March 31, 2008

Now that the latest space shuttle Endeavour mission is completed, the U.S. space agency said it's preparing for the May launch of space shuttle Discovery.

US space shuttle Discovery fuel tank is loaded

February 24, 2011

NASA completed fueling the space shuttle Discovery Thursday, several hours ahead of its final launch to the International Space Station scheduled for 4:50 pm (2150 GMT).

NASA delays shuttle Endeavour launch to April 29

April 4, 2011

NASA on Monday said it will delay the shuttle Endeavour's launch by 10 days, setting a new date for April 29 to avoid a conflict with a Russian capsule's arrival at the International Space Station.

Recommended for you

Earth might have hairy dark matter

November 23, 2015

The solar system might be a lot hairier than we thought. A new study publishing this week in the Astrophysical Journal by Gary Prézeau of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, proposes the existence of ...

Scientists detect stellar streams around Magellanic Clouds

November 23, 2015

(—Astronomers from the University of Cambridge, U.K., have detected a number of narrow streams and diffuse debris clouds around two nearby irregular dwarf galaxies called the Magellanic Clouds. The research also ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.