Sunday, February 07, 2010

Endeavour fueled for morning launch attempt

Endeavour was fueled tonight as the launch team here at the Kennedy Space Center make a second attempt to launch the first of five final space shuttle missions.

The orange colored external fuel tank went into stable replenish mode at 9:53 pm EST tonight after over 535,000 gallons of super cold liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen were filled into two separate inner tanks. The fuels mix together at launch to power the orbiter's main engines for nine minutes.

The current weather forecast calls for a chance of low clouds at launch time, thus the forecast is 60% go for launch.

Endeavour's crew of six will begin donning their launch and entry suits at 11:53 pm tonight, followed by the crew's departure for the launch pad at 12:24 am.

Commanding Endeavour's crew will be George Zamka who will be making his second trip to the space station. Terry Virts, who will serve as pilot, is making his first space flight. Mission Specialists Nicholas Patrick, Robert Behnken, Stephen Robinson and Kathryn Hire are all space veterans and round out the crew.

The crew will begin entering their spacecraft at just before 1:00 AM.

Endeavour will carry up the 7 meter-long Tranquility module and the dome shaped Cupola module. Tranquility is a pressurized cylindrical node (15 feet in diameter) which will house living quarters and serve as an exercise section of the station.

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