Florida, Nov 17: NASA successfully launched space shuttle Atlantis from Kennedy Space Centre on Monday, Nov 16, carrying six crew members on a mission to the International Space Station.
The mission is part of the US space agency's efforts to stock up the ISS reserves as the shuttle programme enters its expected final year in 2010.
Atlantis' six crew members includes commander Charles Hobaugh, pilot Barry Wilmore, flight engineer Randy Bresnik, lead spacewalker Michael Foreman and astronauts Leland Melvin and Robert Satcher. The members will spend 11 days in space.
"A perfect launch, right on time," said a NASA spokesman.
"The shuttle reached orbit about eight minutes into its flight, hurtling at a speed of more than 15,000 miles (24,000 kilometers) per hour," he said.
Atlantis is to dock on Wednesday, Nov 18 with the space station, which orbits 350 km above earth.
The shuttle will deliver two platforms with 12,360 kg of spare parts, which will be installed on the outside of the station.