Sunday, October 12, 2008

Shuttle Shuffle; Delta IV Launch Nears

[October 11, 2008] -- SLN: Up To The Minute, I'm Charles Atkeison... Space Shuttle program managers will soon move shuttle Atlantis back to the Vehicle Assembly Building from launch pad 39-A, and then place shuttle Endeavour at 39-A now that the Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission will not fly before February.

On Sept. 28th, a critical computer in Hubble's science control failed, and the Hubble Team in Maryland needs a few months to get a back-up which had been used for testing upgraded for flight. Also needed is crew training and mission planning in support of replacing the new unit. Atlantis will return to the vehicle assembly building on Oct. 20th.

NASA's shuttle shuffle of flights now sees Endeavour flying mission STS-126 next to the international space station around November 14th. This will be a resupply flight which will also support four spacewalks, and return a space station crew member home. Next, shuttle program managers both here at KSC and at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, will decide if a critical computer needed for Hubble will be ready to make a mid-February target date; or if Discovery will be next in early February on a solar array delivery mission to the ISS.
KSC has a New Director -- KSC director Bill Parsons is departing, and four-time shuttle veteran Robert Cabana will become the center's new director in a few days.
CCAS Prepares for Delta 4 -- A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 ELV rocket, with a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office NROL-26, is targeted to launch on November 16th from launch complex 37 at Cape Canaveral. A formal launch window will be announced the day prior to flight.
Last, welcome to a new chapter for and spacelaunchnews magazine, as we continue with a newer version of live blogging related to space news from Cape Canaveral.

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