The space shuttle Endeavour executed a perfect launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on its mission to start construction work on the International Space Station.
It left the launch pad right on the scheduled blast-off time of 0335 EST (0834 GMT) and quickly rolled into the correct trajectory that would take it into orbit.
There was no repeat of the aborted launch on Thursday when an alarm had sounded in the Shuttle cockpit forcing Endeavour to stand down for 24 hours.
"We're ready to start on a new era of international co-operation in space and get this space station built," said Endeavour commander Robert Cabana moments before the final launch sequence began. "Let's go do this."
Endeavour is now chasing the Zarya module, the first component in the space station project. It was launched last month from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
|The crew's mission will last 11 days|
It will be two days before Endeavour and Zarya are united. The shuttle crew of five Americans and one Russian will then attach a 13-tonne, six-sided hub called Unity to Zarya.
Two astronauts will have to make three, six-hour-long spacewalks some 340 kilometres (210
miles) above Earth to get the work done.
Endeavour will also deploy two experimental satellites: an Argentine one called SAC-A, and a US satellite called MightySat 1, developed by the US Air Force Phillips Laboratory.
The Unity module will become the primary docking port for future shuttle missions during construction of the multi-billion-dollar space station. A third, Russian module will be sent up in mid-1999.
This will be the crucial mission in the early construction of the space station because the power from the third module will allow the growing structure to maintain a constant orbit.
The first crew should arrive in 2000, with the station becoming fully operational in 2004.