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Space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to roll out to Kennedy's other launch pad, 39B, on Friday, April 17. Endeavour will be prepared for liftoff in the unlikely event that a rescue mission is necessary following Atlantis' launch. After Atlantis is cleared to land, Endeavour will move to Launch Pad 39A for its upcoming STS-127 mission to the International Space Station, targeted to launch in mid-June.
Endeavour will roll over from Kennedy's Orbiter Processing Facility 2 to the Vehicle Assembly Building on April 10. In the assembly building, crews will attach the spacecraft to its external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters in preparations for its move to pad 39B.
NASA managers decided to proceed with the dual-pad approach after carefully reviewing the manifest options to complete the International Space Station and to ensure it is in the most robust condition possible following shuttle retirement.
The dual-pad approach requires one month less processing time than the single-pad approach and will help complete both STS-125 and STS-127. Endeavour will deliver the Japanese Exposed Facility and make the space station more robust to support cargo delivery for a six-person crew.
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