Thursday, June 04, 2009

Crew Enters Endeavour for Practice Count

The seven crew members of the next space shuttle flight climbed inside Endeavour this morning as she sits a top launch pad 39-A for a practice mock countdown as they and the launch team prepare for the real thing in nine days.

Endeavour's crew is commanded by space veteran Mark Polansky. His pilot is Doug Hurley, a rookie. Mission specialists Christopher J. Cassidy, Thomas H. Marshburn, David A. Wolf, Julie Payette (Canadian Space Agency), and Timothy Kopra. Endeavour will drop Kopra off at the international space station to begin his tour of duty, and pick up Japanese astronaut KoichiWakata.

Endeavour will set sail on her 23rd flight into the ocean of space on Saturday, June 13 at 7:17:15 am EDT.

The crew arrived here at the Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday afternoon for three days of launch pad drills and this morning's mock countdown, where the crew dons their orange pressure suits and boards Endeavour. The Launch Control Center will then take a countdown down to T-6 seconds - just before main engine start.

The crew will depart Kennedy late today for their home south of Houston, Texas for a few days. On Saturday, the crew will enter quarentine, and then return back to America's Spaceport this Wednesday.

Also upcoming on Wednesday, NASA will begin the launch countdown at 9:00 am EDT, as they aim for a Saturday morning lift-off. Sunrise on June 13 will be at 6:24 am here at the Cape. Launch temperature is currently forecast to be 74F, with no rain expected.

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