Saturday, May 09, 2009

Live at KSC: Critical Countdown Preps Continue

LIVE IMAGES: Refresh this page for updates and the latest still image from NASA TV (left) and a live video feed in the Launch Complex 39 area at Kennedy Space Center.

NASA aims to complete a critical fuel-cell servicing operation today as countdown clocks tick toward the planned launch Monday of shuttle Atlantis and seven astronauts on a fifth and final mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

Atlantis and a crew led by veteran mission commander Scott Altman are scheduled to launch at 2:01 p.m. Monday -- about 20 minutes into a 62-minute launch window for the day.

NASA says 2:01 p.m. is the preferred launch time because it would result in optimal shuttle propulsion system performance on a planned rendezvous with the Hubble telescope in an orbit some 350 miles above Earth. But the launch time could be moved up to 1:41 p.m. if weather conditions or technical considerations warrant an earlier blast off.

WATCH the next countdown status briefing at 11 a.m right here in the Flame Trench. Simply click the NASA TV box on the right-hand side of the page to launch our NASA TV viewer and live coverage.

You can also watch a news conference on the planned June 2 launch of the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and a traditional NASA Pre-Launch news conference, which is scheduled for no earlier than 6:30 p.m.

In the meantime, make sure to refresh this page for periodic countdown updates.

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