Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Six Endeavour astronauts en route to KSC

Setting aside growing uncertainty about the future of U.S. human spaceflight, six astronauts are on their way to Kennedy Space Center to prepare for an early Sunday blastoff aboard shuttle Endeavour.

Flying from Houston in a Shuttle Training Aircraft, a modified Gulfstream II, the crew is expected to touch down at the spaceport's Shuttle Landing Facility around 10:30 p.m.

"On board a NASA shuttle training aircraft, taxiing to the runway to fly to FL," mission specialist Nick Patrick tweeted before taking off. "Just over 4 days to go!"

You can track the progress of their flight HERE.

And click here to open a NASA TV video player and watch live coverage of the crew's arrival and remarks from the tarmac.

The 130th shuttle mission is scheduled to launch at 4:39 a.m. Sunday -- the last night launch planned among the final five shuttle missions.

Flying to the International Space Station on the 13-day mission will be mission commander George Zamka, pilot Terry Virts and mission specialists Bob Behnken, Kay Hire, Patrick and Steve Robinson.

The crew will haul up and install a new room for the station called Tranquility, and a seven-windowed observation deck called the cupola.

IMAGE NOTE: At launch pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center on Jan. 21, the crew of space shuttle Endeavour's STS-130 mission poses for a group portrait in front of Endeavour's external tank and one of its solid rocket boosters following the completion of the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, the dress rehearsal for their launch. From left are Mission Specialist Robert Behnken; Commander George Zamka; Pilot Terry Virts; and Mission Specialists Kathryn Hire, Nicholas Patrick and Stephen Robinson. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

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