Space Shuttle Endeavour on launch pad

Space Shuttle Endeavour on launch pad

The Space Shuttle Endeavour, which is coming off a major overhaul, will launch for the first time in nearly five years.

For NASA, this caps a campaign to put a teacher in space.

55-year old Barbara Morgan was the back-up to Christa Macauliffe and watched in 1986 as the Shuttle Challenger exploded, taking the life of her friend.

Barbara Morgan said, "this is symbolic, and I know that people will be thinking about Challenger and that's a good thing."

Now, Morgan is a full fledged astronaut and sees her role as one of carrying on.

She said, "carrying on is a great way to put it because the challenger's legacy is open ended."

Morgan will be teaching lessons to school children from space in addtition to performing her other duties as an astronaut.

During the 11 day mission, the Endeavour crew will deliver cargo and spare parts, as well as some new framework to the international space station.

The mission is considered critical to the completion of the Internationational Space Station  before a looming 2010 deadline.

For the first time NASA will attempt to siphon electrical power to the shuttle from the International Space Station.

If that's successful, NASA will extend the mission from eleven days to fourteen days.

The shuttle will lift-off at 5:36 p.m. Central time.