The container with Tranquility is lifted into pad 39A’s gantry this morning. Credit: NASA-KSC
The Tranquility module that’ll be a new room with a view for the International Space Station was trucked to space shuttle Endeavour’s launch pad overnight, destined for blastoff next month.
Packed in a special transport canister shaped like the shuttle’s 60-foot-long payload bay, Tranquility was moved out of Kennedy Space Center’s Space Station Processing Facility last week. After a layover at the rotating building, where the container was turned upright, and then a weather-related hold, the module reached pad 39A before dawn today.
Ground crews went to work hoisting the canister up the gantry to unload Tranquility into the pad’s cleanroom for its eventual insertion into the shuttle bay later this week.
The module was built in Italy by Thales Alenia Space as part of the collaboration between the European Space Agency and NASA in the space station program. It was delivered to KSC in May to undergo final testing and preps for flight.
Read the rest…
NASA is reviewing a problem with coolant hoses that could force a delay to the planned Feb. 7 launch of Endeavour.
“We’re still targeting Feb. 7, but it has the potential to do that,” said Allard Beutel, a Kennedy Space Center spokesman. “We are looking at this as an issue.”
The ammonia coolant lines were to be attached to the Tranquility module, which is due to be delivered to the launch pad and installed in the shuttle next week, during one of three spacewalks.
But the hoses have experienced failures during pre-flight tests this week by a California supplier, and replacements are not readily available.
Read the official NASA mission summary here
NASA says Kennedy Space Center technicians are testing space shuttle Endeavour’s systems, preparing for its move to the Vehicle Assembly Building.
Endeavour’s move from the Orbiter Processing Facility is scheduled Dec. 12, but before that can happen, the shuttle’s environmental control and life support systems, main engine and aerosurface hydraulics must be checked, NASA said. Technicians also will test and calibrate the system that provides navigational information for the shuttle while it’s in orbit.
While the testing is under way, Endeavour’s STS-130 astronauts are practicing integrated launch simulations at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
Commander George Zamka will lead the STS-130 mission to the International Space Station, with Terry Virts serving as the shuttle’s pilot. The STS-130 astronauts are Nicholas Patrick, Robert Behnken, Stephen Robinson and Kathryn Hire. Virts will be making his first trip to space.
Read the full article here…