CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.—Space Shuttle Endeavour blasted off on its final mission today from the Kennedy Space Center, exactly 19 years to the day of the completion of its maiden voyage.

—Click here to see our Space Shuttle Endeavour photo gallery

The shuttle was visible at the NASA press site for only 22 seconds after launch before hitting a very low cloud base. Many experienced shuttle watchers were surprised that the launch was not delayed because of the cloud cover, prompting a flurry of questions from reporters at a post-launch press conference.

“The clouds were where we needed them,” said Mike Moses, launch integration manager for the shuttle program.

The mission will be a complicated one, with spacewalks conducted by shuttle crew while the International Space Station crew sleeps. Shuttle astronauts will install a $2 billion alpha magnetic spectrometer, a sensitive device that will search for the origins of matter in the universe. Midway through the mission a Russian soyuz craft will depart the station, returning three crew members to Earth. This is the first time a craft will depart the station while the shuttle is attached.

Endeavour is slated to return to the Kennedy Space Center on June 1.

Below is a clip from MSNBC’s coverage of the launch, including a few seconds of video from an unusual angle as Endeavour disappears into low cloud cover.

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—Click here to watch the complete story from Brian Williams and to read the story by MSNBC Science Editor Alan Boyle.

Lon Seidman

Lon Seidman

Lon Seidman is the host and producer of “Lon.TV,” a consumer technology video show that is on a number of platforms including YouTube and Amazon. He creates in-depth, consumer-friendly product reviews and commentary. His YouTube channel has over 300,000 subscribers and more than 100 million views.

In addition to being a full-time content creator, Lon is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Hartford (his alma mater) where he teaches a course in entrepreneurial content creation.

Prior to becoming a full-time creator, Lon was a partner at The Safety Zone, his family’s business that manufactures gloves and safety equipment. The company has locations around the globe and employs over 200 people worldwide. The Safety Zone was acquired by the Genuine Parts Corporation in 2016.

Lon is also active in public service, serving as the Chairman of the Essex Board of Education, a member of the Region 4 Board of Education, and as the Secretary / Treasurer of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. He was endorsed by both Democrats and Republicans for his re-election in 2021.

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