Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Endeavour Launch Countdown Preps In Work At KSC

NASA aims to install critical ordnance devices aboard Endeavour today and check out spacesuits for a trip to the International Space Station as launch countdown preparations continue at Kennedy Space Center.

Endeavour and six astronauts remain scheduled to blast off from launch pad 39A at KSC at 4:39 a.m. Feb. 7, the middle of a 10-minute opportunity to put the shuttle on course for a docking at the International Space Station. The launch date is expected to be firmed up at the conclusion of an executive-level Flight Readiness Review to be held at KSC on Wednesday.

At the launch pad today:

Technicians will check out spacesuits -- also known as Extravehicular Mobility Units, or EMUs -- that will be worn by mission specialists Robert Behnken and Nicholas Patrick during three planned excursions outside the international outpost. The three spacewalks are aimed at preparing the U.S. Tranquility module, or Node 3, for operations at the station. The module and the Italian-built Cupola are the prime payloads for the STS-130 mission.

Call To Stations for ordnance operations is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Technicians plan to rig up pyrotechnic devices that will be used to separate Endeavour from its launch pad, solid rocket boosters and external tank in flight. Flight Termination System ordnance will be rigged up. The hazardous operations are slated to take place on 3rd shift.

Endeavour's payload bay doors were closed for flight over the past weekend. Launch countdown preparations began Monday and will continue throughout the week.

A review panel will advise managers this week that no re-test of electronics systems will be required as a result of a lightning strike near the pad area last Friday.

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