Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Shuttle Endeavour Due At Launch Pad 39A Today

Shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to roll up onto its Kennedy Space Center launch pad this morning as NASA gears up for the planned Feb. 7 launch of six astronauts on a mission to deliver the U.S. Tranquility module and an Italian Cupola to the International Space Station.

A mid-morning arrival at the pad is expected after a 3.5-mile move from the KSC Vehicle Assembly Building. A giant crawler-transporter was slated to edge out of High Bay No. 1 at 4 a.m.

You can watch live NASA TV coverage of the rollout right here in The Flame Trench starting at 7 a.m. Click the NASA TV box on the right side of the page to launch our NASA TV viewer.

Veteran shuttle pilot George Zamka will command the flight. On board with him:
Pilot Terry Virts and mission specialists Robert Behnken, Kathryn Hire, Nicholas Patrick and Stephen Robinson. Hire, who will be making her second spaceflight, in the mid-1990s became the first KSC worker to be selected to the Astronaut Office and fly in space.

The payload for the STS-130 mission is being prepped for flight in the Space Station Processing Facility, which is located in the KSC Industrial Area. The Tranquility Module, named in honor of the 40th anniversary last year of the Apollo 11 landing on the Sea of Tranquility, is the last pressurized U.S. station module. The Cupola, built by the Italian Space Agency, is a robotics work station with six windows around its sides and another in its center. It will provide station crews with a 360-degree view around the outpost.

The payload is scheduled to be delivered to the pad around Jan. 15 or Jan. 16.

Zamka and his crew will arrive at KSC Jan. 19 for a Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, or TCDT. The astronauts will take part in emergency training at the launch pad and will board Endeavour on Jan. 21 for the last few hours of a two-day practice countdown.

The Shuttle Program Office will hold its Flight Readiness Review on Jan. 19 and Jan. 20.

The executive level Flight Readiness Review will be held Jan. 27. A firm launch date will be established at that time.

As it stands, the crew is slated to fly to KSC Feb. 2 for launch on Feb. 7.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Space shuttle by NASA management is an old pickup truckthat is worn out big time. See reaction.engines. for state of the art Skylon but politics will stop it's modern reality as it makes NASA loose control of space. Read the news and hear thier own words. No star trek for centuries. Fire NASA as a big over bearing burecracy. US citizens will benefit very very little from a NASA.