The Space Shuttle Endeavour illuminates the night sky as it embarks on the first U.S. mission dedicated to the assembly of the International Space Station. Liftoff on Dec. 4 from Launch Pad 39A was at 3:35:34 a.m. EST. During the nearly 12-day mission, the six-member crew will mate in space the first two elements of the International Space Station -- the already-orbiting Zarya control module with the Unity connecting module carried by Endeavour. Crew members are Commander Robert D. Cabana, Pilot Frederick W. "Rick" Sturckow, and Mission Specialists Nancy J. Currie, Jerry L. Ross, James H. Newman and Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev, a Russian cosmonaut. This was the second launch attempt for STS-88. The first one on Dec. 3 was scrubbed when launch controllers, following an assessment of a suspect hydraulic system, were unable to resume the countdown clock in time to launch within the remaining launch window. (Photo Release Date: 12/04/98 )

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