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  STS-130: Readying Endeavour for Tranquility

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Author Topic:   STS-130: Readying Endeavour for Tranquility
Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-12-2009 05:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-130, the 32nd shuttle mission to the International Space Station, will deliver the third connecting module - the Tranquility node - and a seven-windowed cupola to be used as a control room for robotics. The flight will feature three spacewalks.

George Zamka will command space shuttle Endeavour's STS-130 crew. Terry Virts will serve as the pilot. Mission specialists are Nick Patrick, Bob Behnken, Steve Robinson and Kay Hire.

At Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Endeavour arrived Friday, Dec. 11 in the transfer aisle of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) for the next phase of its launch preparations.

The rollover from its hangar, Orbiter Processing Facility 2, began at 11:53 a.m. CST and was completed at 1:08 p.m. when Endeavour was towed into the VAB. Next, Endeavour was lifted over a transom and lowered into high bay 1, where was attached to its external tank and twin solid rocket boosters.

Rollout of the completed shuttle stack to Pad 39A is planned for early January 2010. Liftoff of Endeavour on the STS-130 mission is targeted for 3:49 a.m. CST on Feb. 7.


Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis

cddfspace
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From: Morris County, NJ, USA
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posted 12-12-2009 09:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for cddfspace   Click Here to Email cddfspace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Is the official launch date now Feb. 7? I just checked NASA's website and it still shows Feb 4.

Ben
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posted 12-13-2009 12:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ben   Click Here to Email Ben     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The delay from Feb. 4 to 6 (and now 7) is due to the Russian Progress launch slated for Feb. 4th. They will not launch the shuttle until Progress has docked to the ISS on Feb. 6.

It is also true that the shuttle must be two days after the Feb. 3 Atlas launch (Atlas had the range booked first, though it is also a NASA mission), but Progress is the main reason.

They have now delayed an additional day to Feb. 7 for processing reasons.

Is is true that at present, the dates for the last four missions are daytime launches. But delays as little as a few days (such as STS-134) can result in night launches by chance. Hopefully it will not be the last.

Blackarrow
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posted 12-13-2009 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Blackarrow     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
....and if all remaining flights launch more or less on schedule, this will be the very last night-launch of the space shuttle.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 12-15-2009 09:34 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In High Bay 1 of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), space shuttle Endeavour was positioned on the mobile launcher as preparations began December 12 to attach the orbiter to its external tank and solid rocket boosters.

Credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-06-2010 08:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space shuttle Endeavour, atop a mobile launcher platform, began its move from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A at 3:13 a.m. CST Wednesday morning. The 3.4-mile journey was completed and the shuttle secured, or "hard down" on the pad at 9:37 a.m.

Credit: NASA TV


Credit: NASA/Amanda Diller

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-13-2010 05:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In NASA's Space Station Processing Facility, operations were under way January 12 to place Node 3, named Tranquility, with its attached cupola into a payload transportation canister for its move to Pad 39A.

For updates regarding Tranquility's ammonia hoses failing tests, see: Node coolant lines may delay STS-130.


Credit: NASA/Amanda Diller

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-13-2010 07:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
The Italian-built Tranquility node and the cupola, which is attached to one end of the node, the primary payload for the STS-130 mission, is now scheduled to be transported to the pad at 4 a.m. EST Saturday morning.
Update for Jan. 15: The STS-130 payload canister's transfer to Pad 39A has been rescheduled to 3 a.m. CT, Monday, Jan. 18 due to the forecast weather conditions.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-18-2010 09:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
Tranquility was taken to Pad 39A overnight, arriving at about 2 a.m. CST Monday. Technicians are getting the latest space station module ready to be loaded into shuttle Endeavour's payload bay for launch on the STS-130 mission.

The STS-130 astronauts fly to Kennedy Space Center this evening to start their Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT). They are scheduled to arrive in T-38 jets at the Shuttle Landing Facility at about 5 p.m. The arrival will be carried live on NASA TV.


Credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-18-2010 06:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
Astronauts Arrive for Dress Rehearsal

Credit: NASA TV

Delta7
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posted 01-18-2010 09:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Question: since they apparently flew in on 3 T-38s, who was the 3rd pilot? Of course Zamka and Virts flew two of the birds, but I didn't think any of the Mission Specialists is a rated pilot. Behnken was a Flight Test Engineer, but I didn't think that meant he was qualified to actually fly the aircraft. Am I wrong, or did one of them fly in on a Gulfstream or T-38 earlier? I didn't see the potential 3rd T-38 pilot hanging around the ramp.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-18-2010 10:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bob Behnken and Nick Patrick arrived first, each in separate T-38s (with pilots who were not members of the STS-130 crew). Terry Virts flew in with Kay Hire, and George Zamka flew in with Steve Robinson.

Delta7
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posted 01-18-2010 10:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's what I suspected. The video kind of gives a different impression. Thanks.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-20-2010 04:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
STS-130 Crew Train at Launch Pad 39A

The six STS-130 astronauts continue their prelaunch dress rehearsal at Launch Pad 39A.

At the pad media question-and-answer period, the crew was asked their thoughts about space shuttle Endeavour kicking off a historic last year of launches.

Mission specialist Stephen Robinson answered by saying, "We're thinking about STS-130 every day. But it occurs to me that when we come back, the reality of what this means to the Space Shuttle Program is going to set in. And it's bittersweet -- we all love the shuttle -- and look what human beings can do!

"But the history of space travel has shown," Robinson continued, "that when one program ends the next program is even more exciting, more motivating, more compelling to go into the future than the one before it."


Credit: NASA TV

Other training activities today include slidewire basket evacuation procedures and review of pertinent flight data.

Also, Tranquility will be loaded into Endeavour's payload bay today.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-22-2010 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
STS-130 crew complete TCDT at Kennedy

Endeavour's next crew returned to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston Friday after completing their prelaunch training and dress rehearsal for the STS-130 mission to the International Space Station.


Credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-26-2010 12:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
On Jan. 23, Endeavour's payload bay doors were closed for launch. Secured in the bay is the primary payload for the STS-130 mission, the Tranquility node.

Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-26-2010 12:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA TV feature
Volume one of veteran NASA astronaut Mike Massimino's behind the scenes look at the crew of space shuttle Endeavour as they prepare for their STS-130 mission to the International Space Station.

Credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-27-2010 01:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Gives 'Go' for Feb. 7 as Final Space Shuttle Night Launch

Space shuttle Endeavour is set to begin a 13-day flight to the International Space Station with a Feb. 7 launch from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff is planned for 4:39 a.m. EST, making this the final scheduled space shuttle night launch.


Credit: NASA TV

Endeavour's launch date was announced Wednesday at the conclusion of a flight readiness review at Kennedy. During the meeting, senior NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the shuttle's equipment, support systems and procedures are ready.

Endeavour's flight will begin the final year of space shuttle operations. Five shuttle missions are planned in 2010, with the last flight currently targeted for launch in September.

Endeavour's mission will include three spacewalks and the delivery of the Tranquility node, the final module of the U.S. portion of the space station. Tranquility will provide additional room for crew members and many of the space station's life support and environmental control systems. Attached to the node is a cupola, which houses a robotic control station and has seven windows to provide a panoramic view of Earth, celestial objects and visiting spacecraft. After the node and cupola are added, the orbiting laboratory will be about 90 percent complete.


Credit: NASA TV

Commander George Zamka and his crew of five astronauts are scheduled to arrive at Kennedy at approximately 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 2, for final launch preparations. Joining Zamka on STS-130 are Pilot Terry Virts and Mission Specialists Kathryn Hire, Stephen Robinson, Nicholas Patrick and Robert Behnken. Virts will be making his first trip to space.

STS-130 will be Endeavour's 24th mission and the 33rd shuttle flight dedicated to station assembly and maintenance.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-02-2010 10:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
STS-130 crew arrives at Kennedy

The STS-130 crew arrived in a modified Gulfstream II jet at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at approximately 10:10 p.m. EST, Tuesday.

Commander George Zamka made a brief statement:

"It's great to be here at the Cape. We just did our final ascent sim last night. Everything with Endeavour is going very well. We're going to be reviewing our procedures and will be looking at flight equipment.

"We talked to the station crew last night. They're doing great, and we're looking forward to seeing them and getting started on bringing the Tranquility module to life. Go Endeavour!"


Credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-04-2010 01:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
The countdown begins

The countdown for space shuttle Endeavour's Sunday, Feb. 7 liftoff at 4:39 a.m. EST began on schedule on Thursday, Feb. 4 at 2 a.m. EST.

On Wednesday, NASA Test Director Jeremy Graeber reported everything is progressing on schedule for Endeavour to deliver the Tranquility node and cupola to the International Space Station.

"Endeavour and the launch team are all ready to proceed and we're all very excited to pick up with the countdown leading up to Sunday's early morning launch," said Graeber.

Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters reported the forecast is looking good for launch day and for the loading of propellants into Endeavour's external tank. Winds may be a little breezy but at this time there is only a 30 percent chance of weather hindering the launch on Sunday.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-04-2010 01:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA TV feature
Once again, NASA astronaut Mike Massimino introduces you to the STS-130 crew and takes you along as they prep for their mission scheduled to begin Feb. 7: simulating flying the shuttle, boning up for three spacewalks, and more.

Credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-06-2010 11:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA update
Endeavour revealed for launch

On Launch Pad 39A, the Rotating Service Structure (RSS) that had surrounded shuttle Endeavour as it was readied for launch was rolled back Saturday morning, revealing the vehicle poised for liftoff.

First motion was at 7:58 a.m. and retraction was completed at 8:39 a.m. EST.

The STS-130 crew took the opportunity to visit their spacecraft before retiring for the day in preparation for tomorrow's early morning launch.

Weather remains forecast 80% "go" for Sunday's 4:39 a.m. launch.


STS-130 mission specialists Nick Patrick and Stephen Robinson.


STS-130 mission specialist Kay Hire.


STS-130 pilot Terry Virts.

All times are CT (US)

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