Tuesday, April 26, 2011

STS-134 Prelaunch Update

Per NASA press release:
At today's pre-launch countdown status briefing held at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, managers reported space shuttle Endeavour, its payload and crew are ready for launch at 3:47 p.m. EDT Friday.

NASA Test Director Jeremy Graeber reported everything is progressing on schedule for the 25th and final launch of space shuttle Endeavour.

"Our teams here at Kennedy Space Center, and at NASA centers around the country, have been working for over a year to get Endeavour ready for the STS-134 mission," said Graeber. "We're not working any issues at this time … and over the past ten days have completed some major milestones."

Joe Delai, STS-134 payload manager gave a brief overview of the payload and will have more details during Thursday's launch countdown briefing. "The payloads are closed for flight, we're not working any issues and ready to support launch," said Delai.

Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters reported weather is looking good for launch day and for the loading of propellants into Endeavour's external fuel tank although there may be possibility for a storm during the rollback of the rotating service structure, or RSS, scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday.

At this time there's only a 20 percent chance of weather hindering a successful launch on Friday, due to possible windy conditions, reported Winters.

Endeavour's six astronauts departed Ellington Field, Texas, shortly before 10 a.m. EDT. They are expected to arrive in their T-38 jets at NASA Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility at 12:15 p.m. Their arrival will be aired on NASA TV (www.nasa.gov/ntv).

Today at 2 p.m. NASA's official launch countdown clock begins counting backward toward Friday's liftoff.

Tomorrow's pre-launch news conference will be aired at 11 a.m. on NASA TV (www.nasa.gov/ntv).