Saturday, December 06, 2008

Endeavour to Return to KSC on Tuesday

Endeavour in mate/demate on Dec. 5 (LA Times)

The space shuttle Endeavour will remain in California until Monday morning as she is prepared for her cross country flight which will end here at the Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier, we had reported that KSC engineers at Edwards, AFB in California were ahead of the timeline in preparing the orbiter for her return. However, an issue with the aerodynamic tail cone attachment on Friday will keep the shuttle's return on the normal timeline of a Monday departure.

According to the offices at Edwards and the Dryden Flight Research Center, three of the eight custom made pins which are used to bolt the tail cone over the orbiter's main engines were too large. Technicians then went to work on Friday to reduce the size of those three pins which were only a micro size to big.

Later today, crews will attach the tail cone and begin hoisting the orbiter to prepare for mating to the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft - a modified Boeing 747.

Endeavour landed at Edwards on Nov. 30th, following her NASA-touted home improvement mission to the international space station.

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