Thursday, March 10, 2011

Endeavour Expected To Rollout At 8 PM

The orbiter Endeavour is being prepped for what is expected to be its final trip to the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center -- a move now slated to start at 8 p.m.

Launch managers came out of a 3:30 p.m. weather briefing with a forecast good enough to proceed with the 3.5-mile trip from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Complex 39A. The probability or rain and lightning this evening are within acceptable limits to proceed with the rollout and the weather overnight is expected to be clear. The trip is expected to take about six to seven hours to complete.

Engineers were called to their stations in Firing Room 4 of the Launch Control Center at 4 p.m. and are going through final rollout preparations.

You can watch the rollout live here in The Flame Trench. Click the NASA TV box on the right side of the page to launch our NASA TV viewer and live coverage of Endeavour's last trip to the pad starting around 8 p.m.

A crew is scheduled to be at pad 39A at 2:30 a.m. to make and verify electrical and mechanical connections between Endeavour and ground support equipment. A hot-fire test of the shuttle's Auxiliary Power Units is scheduled overnight, too.

Endeavour and its crew are slated to launch April 19 on a mission to haul a large particle physics experiment package up to the International Space Station. Despite a one-day delay in rollout, NASA and prime contractor United Space Alliance are on track to pick up a three-day countdown at 5:43 p.m. April 16 and then launch Endeavour on its 25th and final flight at 7:48 p.m. April 19.

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