Endeavour’s payload shipped out to launch pad 39A

STS 130

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…

Shuttle Endeavour readied for a space trip @NASA

Shuttle endeavour

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…