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Updates: STS-134 – Endeavour’s last flight

Posted by Lydia on April 29th, 2011

 

UPDATE: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 0800 hours, Houston TX USA:

The following update is from my friend at the launch site in Florida:

“National Aeronautics and Space Administration – NASA
To prevent a conflict with a possible STS-134 launch next week, NASA managers have moved space shuttle Atlantis’ rollover to the Vehicle Assembly Building to May 16 & roll out to the launch pad to May 23. STS-135 launch remains targeted for June 28.”

…..

UPDATE: Tuesday, May 3, Houston, TX , USA, 0700 hours:

NASA has determined May 10th as the earliest launch date for Endeavor.

The following statement is from my friend in Florida, located at the launch site:

” The latest that I’ve heard: NASA’s Kennedy Space Center:
NASA managers met Monday and determined that Tuesday, May 10 is the earliest Endeavour could be launched on the STS-134 mission. Plans are for managers to reconvene Friday to determine a more definite launch date after the box is removed and replaced and the retest of systems has been completed. ”

…..

UPDATE:  Sunday, May 1, 2011, Houston, TX, USA, 2200 hours:

According to NASA, the earliest launch date is May 8, 2011.

More information forthcoming.

…..

Sunday 1000 CDT:

Endeavor’s launch has been further postponed due to issues in the Power Control Box located in the aft compartment. Launch will not occur before the end of the week allowing sufficient time to replace any faulty hardware. The Endeavor crew is returning today to Johnson Space Center for additional training.

A Press conference covered all trouble shooting plans and confirmed there is no confirmed launch date for Endeavor at this time. An interesting one-minute video of the President and his family touring KSC wrapped up the conference. A video of Endeavor crew member bios and Shuttle schedule is available for viewing on NASA TV.

Endeavor Mission STS- 134 has just been delayed until this Monday, 2:33pm EDT (GMT-4), due to an issue with the hydraulic power system. More information forthcoming along with a news conference this afternoon. I have contacted my friend who is at the launch site for more information on the launch delay.

Meanwhile: Atlantis, the last shuttle that will journey to the ISS in late summer, will be checked for compartment structural leaks and orbiter pressure tests today. Atlantis is scheduled to be moved to the Vehicle Assembly Building on May 10.

STS-134 Endeavor and crew members Commander Mark Kelly, Pilot Gregory H.Johnson, Mission Specialists Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and European Space Agency Astronaut Roberto Vittori are ready for today’s launch still slated for 1445 Central Daylight Time from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39-A.

Endeavor’s last mission’s main goal is to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) to the International Space Station, a project which was begun over fifteen years ago. The AMS, built in Geneva in collaboration with sixteen will allow scientists to study the origin of antimatter, dark matter, pulsars, blazars, gamma ray bursters and stangelets. (More on that later in another article.)

This fourteen day mission is Endeavor’s final flight after nineteen years of continuous service to the ISS. We will fondly remember Endeavor as the first shuttle to include four spacewalks, and on a later mission to undergo five of the same. Endeavor’s records include: Mission STS-67’s two days longer than any shuttle mission before it. It was the first shuttle to have two pieces of the International Space Station joined together within its cargo bay.

Originally I had planned to be present to observe and enjoy Endeavor’s final launch this week, however a situation beyond my control interfered with my plan.

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