JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, Houston (WVLT/AP) -- The commander of the space shuttle Endeavour is a UT Graduate.
Commander Dominic Gorie recieved a master of science degree in aviation systems from the University of Tennessee in 1990.
The space shuttle Endeavour is on its way to the international space station after lighting up the night sky over Florida this morning.
It was a rare after-dark launch.
The shuttle mission is a 16-day trip to build a robot arm and install part of a new laboratory at the orbiting space lab.
The astronauts will perform five spacewalks during the mission -- the most ever planned during a shuttle visit.
They'll also use the mission to try out a caulking gun and a high-tech goo on thermal tile samples, a test that's part of NASA's ongoing safety efforts following the Columbia disaster.
The mission is the second of six planned shuttle missions this year.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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