Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Endeavour's Crew at KSC for Saturday Launch

Basked in darkness of midnight this morning, the seven member crew of the next space shuttle mission arrived here at the Kennedy Space Center to prepare for the start of their flight to the international space station this Saturday morning.

Led by commander Mark Polansky, the crew includes pilot Doug Hurley, mission specialists David Wolf, Christopher Cassidy, Julie Payette, Tom Marshburn and Timothy Kopra. Kopra will begin a two month stay aboard the station as he replaces Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata.

The crew arrived aboard a Gulfstream II jet at 11:53 pm EDT on Monday night. At 12:02 am this morning, they stepped onto KSC - their home for the next three days.

The crew's "day" is 180-degrees from most as they awake at 5PM and go to bed at 9AM EDT, in support of activities and timelines aboard the space station which fall around Moscow day light hours.

"Bonsoir, or I should say, bonjour, because we're in the middle of our afternoon," stated mission specialist Julie Payette (Canadian Space Agency) after departing their jet. "Thank you for taking the time to come and see us at this ungodly hour."

Follow our LIVE updates on launch morning via Twitter @spacelaunchnews. And, for LIVE television of the launch from your computer, visit us at http://spacelaunchnews.com.

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