Friday, April 29, 2011

Endeavour to Soar

News Update 11:35 am Central Time- NASA puts launch on hold until Sunday. Two heaters on an APU have failed, NASA is trying to solve the problem.

Endeavour [OV-105] being mated to the stack inside the VAB at Kennedy Space Center.
Image from NASA.

STS-134 is on Pad 39-A fully fueled. This is OV-105's last fight and 25th mission. Mission commander is Mark Kelly. Scheduled launch time is 3:47pm Eastern. Objective is to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer[AMS] plus spare parts to the International Space Station[ISS].

Equipment trivia for this mission. The external fuel tank for STS-134 is the last tank produced at Michoud in Lousiana, this tank survived Hurricane Katrina, and has had a couple repairs since. An upper motor part of one of the SRBs first flew on STS-1 taking Columbia[OV-102] into orbit. That seems fitting, alpha and omega wrapped in one flight.

God speed Endeavour on your 14 day mission. Soar proudly and return in glory.

Live video can be viewed through this link.


Legion said...

hmmm, thought the last NASA mission went off to the space station a couple of weeks ago. Waiting for another administration to start them up again.

Anna said...

OV-104 Atlantis is scheduled in June to fly STS-135, the last Shuttle mission.

I seriously doubt the next administration will restart the Shuttle. Endeavour's rescheduled launch today will use the last external tank produced which was in 2005. There are only three Shuttles left and it costs about $1.2 billion a launch.

Orion and Ares needs to be fast tracked. Russia is now stiffing the US taxpayer over $400 million a Soyuz launch to the ISS. The PRC has space ambitions. But current NASA policy will result in the US being Portugal.