NASA Shuttle at Launch Pad for Final Scheduled Night Launch; Crew Set to Arrive for Practice Liftoff
After reaching its launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida Wednesday, space shuttle Endeavour now awaits its next major milestone for the upcoming STS-130 mission. Reporters are invited to cover the launch dress rehearsal, known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, or TCDT, scheduled to take place at Kennedy from Jan. 19 to 21.
Endeavour arrived at Launch Pad 39A at 8:45 a.m. EST Wednesday on top of a giant crawler-transporter. The crawler-transporter left Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building at 4:13 a.m., traveling less than 1 mph during the 3.4-mile journey. The shuttle was secured on the pad at 10:37 a.m.
The launch of Shuttle Endeavour on the STS 130 flight now faces a potential delay due to technical problems with the external ammonia connecting lines which are designed to provide critical cooling capability to the new Tranquility module. Tranquility is a pressurized module being brought aloft as payload in the cargo bay of Endeavour on the STS 130 mission. Launch of Endeavour is currently set for 4:39 AM on Feb. 7.
NASA spokesman Allard Beutel told me Friday afternoon Jan 8 that, Ã¢â‚¬Å“As space station and space shuttle teams prepared for FebruaryÃ¢â‚¬™s launch of Endeavour, a high-pressure ammonia jumper hose assembly failed during a prelaunch test Thursday. Four such hoses, which will be used to connect the new Tranquility module to the stationÃ¢â‚¬™s cooling system, are to be installed and activated by spacewalkers during the STS-130 mission.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Space shuttle Endeavour will deliver the final module of the U.S. portion of the International Space Station on the STS-130 mission, now targeted to launch Feb. 7. NASA will preview this mission during a series of news briefings Friday, Jan. 15, at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. NASA Television and the agency's Web site will broadcast the briefings live. Reporters may ask questions from participating NASA locations.
Endeavour's flight will begin the final year of space shuttle operations. Five shuttle missions are planned in 2010, with the final flight currently targeted for launch in September.
NASA has purchased two reusable solid rocket motors from ATK Launch Systems Inc. of Brigham City, Utah, to provide a "launch on need" rescue capability for the final planned space shuttle mission, targeted for September 2010.
The reusable solid rocket motors are the propellant-loaded sections of the solid rocket boosters that provide thrust for the first two minutes of a shuttle flight. The $64.6 million modification brings the total value of the contract, which was awarded in October 1998, to $4.1 billion and covers work started in February to produce and transport the two motors.
Work will be performed at the contractor's plants in Brigham City and Clearfield, Utah, and facilities at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., and Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Space shuttle Atlantis and its crew of seven astronauts ended an 11-day journey of nearly 4.5 million miles with a 9:44 a.m. EST landing Friday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The mission, designated STS-129, included three spacewalks and the installation of two platforms to the International Space Station's truss, or backbone. The platforms hold large spare parts to sustain station operations after the shuttles are retired. The shuttle crew delivered about 30,000 pounds of replacement parts for systems that provide power to the station, keep it from overheating, and maintain a proper orientation in space.
Congressman Bart Gordon and Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville will host a live conversation between more than 120 students and NASA astronaut Barry E. Wilmore on Sunday, Nov. 22. Wilmore is the pilot of space shuttle Atlantis, which launched Nov. 16 on an 11-day mission to the International Space Station. Members of Wilmore's family also will attend the event.
The live call from orbit will take place between 11:08 a.m. and 11:28 a.m. CST. Twenty students, ranging from kindergarten to college age, will ask questions of Wilmore and fellow astronauts Nicole Stott and Leland Melvin. Stott has served as a flight engineer and member of the Expedition 21 crew living aboard the International Space Station for more than two months. She will return to Earth aboard Atlantis. Melvin is a mission specialist and crewmate of Wilmore's aboard Atlantis.
The 12 crew members aboard space shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station will hold a news conference at 7:13 a.m. CST on Tuesday, Nov. 24.
Reporters can ask questions from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Kennedy Space Center in Florida and headquarters in Washington. Journalists from Canada, Europe and Russia also will participate in the news conference. U.S. journalists must RSVP by calling the public affairs office at a participating NASA location by noon Nov. 23.
NASA Television will provide live coverage of the 40-minute news conference. For NASA TV downlink, schedule and streaming video information, visit:
An experiment by college students that will study how microbes grow in microgravity is heading to orbit aboard space shuttle Atlantis.
Undergraduate and graduate students at Texas Southern University in Houston developed the experiment that will fly as part of the STS-129 mission. The mission is scheduled to launch at 2:28 p.m. EST on Nov. 16 from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
"I'm thrilled that giving students the chance to design and research an experiment to fly in space is one of the tools we have at NASA to engage them in science, technology, engineering and mathematics," NASA Deputy Administrator Lori B. Garver said." These young people are our future, and providing an opportunity to inspire them is a major part of our mission at NASA."
Besides taking spare parts to the International Space Station (ISS) this coming Monday, the space shuttle Atlantis (STS-129) will deliver the module antennas for Columbus -- the laboratory built by the European Space Agency (ESA) and host of two Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) antennas.
NASA's space shuttle Atlantis is targeted to begin an 11-day flight to the International Space Station with a Nov. 16 launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff is scheduled for 2:28 p.m. EST.
Atlantis' launch date was announced Thursday at the conclusion of a flight readiness review at Kennedy. During the meeting, senior NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the shuttle's equipment, support systems and procedures are ready.
The Nov. 16 target date depends on the planned Nov. 14 launch of an Atlas V rocket from nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Atlas has reserved the Eastern Range on Nov. 14 and 15. If the Atlas launch is delayed to Nov. 15, the shuttle's liftoff will move to no earlier than 2:02 p.m. on Nov. 17.