Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Cool STS-126 Flight Crew Images from Today

SLN: Up to the Minute. I'm Charles Atkeison... During emergency escape training at launch pad 39A here at Kennedy Space Center today, STS-126 Endeavour crew members learned about emergency escape drills and took a few questions from the media on a rather chilly morning.

NASA states that the crew will wrap up here at KSC after taking part in tomorrows Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, which includes equipment familiarization, emergency exit training and a simulated launch countdown.

Enjoy a few digital images from this morning's activites here at KSC. Lift-off remains planned for 7:55pm ET on November 14th.

Endeavour Crew Trains at KSC this Week

SLN: Up to the Minute, I'm Charles Atkeison... The seven member crew of the next space shuttle flight spent Monday at the launch pad area here at KSC practicing emergency procedures in preperation for their launch in November.

Today, the crew will hold a new conference at pad 39-A this morning, followed by training flights by the commander and pilot in the shuttle trainer aircraft (a Gulfstream II jet).

Commanding Endeavour will be Chris Ferguson. Seated next to him on the climb to orbit will be pilot Eric Boe. Mission specialists Steve Bowen, Shane Kimbrough, Don Pettit and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Sandra Magnus round out the flight crew.

On Wednesday, the crew will simulate launch day as they dress in their orange pressure suits which they will wear on launch day, climb aboard Endeavour and run through a mock countdown.

Launch remains targeted for November 14th at about 7:55 pm ET. A formal launch time will be announced by Friday of this week.

Watch it Live here! Click on the NASA-TV link at right for new live video, and stay up to the minute.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Live at Cape Canaveral: Delta IV & Atlas V Nears

SLN: Up to the Minute, I'm Charles Atkeison.... Engineers at Cape Canaveral Air Station are gearing up for two ELV unmanned rocket launches between mid-November and December as they ready the Cape for the pre-Holiday season closeure.
A Delta IV and an Atlas V rockets are hoping to leave the Cape with their satellite payloads prior to the multiweek closeure of the Eastern Test Range prior to the Christmas Holidays. During the shutdown period, computers are upgraded and personel take holiday leave.

First up is a Delta IV-H carrying a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office - NROL-26. Lift-off is slated for the evening of November 16th.

Second, an Atlas V's is scheduled for launch on December 13th, carrying a military spacecraft for the DOD.
note: Endeavour has the range from Nov. 14th. If there is a day or two launch delay, the Delta IV will also be delayed for 24 to 48 hrs.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

STS-126: Launch Day minus 23 Days Update

SLN: Up to the Minute, I'm Charles Atkeison ... Space shuttle Endeavour's flight crew of Commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Eric Boe, Stephen Bowen, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, Donald Pettit, Robert Shane Kimbrough and Sandra Magnus will depart Houston this Sunday on a trip to KSC and the traditional TCDT or countdown dress rehersal.

Tomorrow morning, the Endeavour space shuttle stack atop a mobile launcher platform will move from Pad 39-B to Pad 39-A to begin final launch preperations. The crew will board Endeavour this Wednesday to review orbiter entry and launch countdown procedures.

Currently, Endeavour is in a planned launch attempt for 7:55:28 p.m. ET on November 14th from Pad 39-A. An on-time launch will see the orbiter return to KSC on November 29th.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Atlantis in VAB; Endeavour Prepares for STS-126

SLN: Up to the Minute, I'm Charles Atkeison... The space shuttle Atlantis returned back to her bay inside the massive Vehicle Assembly Building yesterday afternoon, as she stands down due to recent Hubble trouble.

Meanwhile, sistership Endeavour is being readied for her move from launch pad 39-B to 39-A this Saturday in preperation for her launch in mid-November. Endeavour will fly mission STS-126 to the international space station on the last flight of the year. Launch is currently targeted for November 14th.

Atlantis' mission STS-125 is being delayed due to recent Hubble space telescope equipment issues. Thus, the whole flight is being retooled in support of the new equipment needed in support of this last HST servicing mission. The Atlantis stack will be housed in Bay 3 of the VAB through January.

Look for new data and info related to Endeavour's flight soon.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In the orbiter processing facility here at KSC, the orbiter Discovery is being readied for her February flight to ISS. In January, shuttle program managers will decide if Discovery or Atlantis will fly first during February - most likely Discovery.

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 spacelaunchnews.com and spacelaunchnews magazine, as we continue with a newer version of live blogging related to space news from Cape Canaveral.

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