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Review Sets Nov 14 To Launch STS-126

The crew of space shuttle Endeavour is to fly to the International Space Station to deliver 19,000 pounds of supplies and equipment to the orbiting laboratory. Photo credit: NASA/Troy Cryder
by Staff Writers
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) Oct 31, 2008
Space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to launch Nov. 14 at 7:55 p.m. EST after NASA officials conducted an exhaustive review of the shuttle, its payload and the International Space Station. The officials met Thursday during the Flight Readiness Review, a standard session that clears the way for the launch of a shuttle mission.

Agency officials evaluated the processing of Endeavour and its payload including the cargo module Leonardo before giving the go to set the launch date. Endeavour and its crew of seven astronauts are to deliver 14,500 pounds of supplies and equipment packed inside Leonardo to the International Space Station.

Leonardo acts as NASA's moving van. It will be connected to the station while astronauts and station crew members transfer the gear into the orbiting laboratory. They will also transfer used equipment and completed experiments into Leonardo for return to Earth. The module will be disconnected and will fly back inside Endeavour.

Separately, NASA managers have announced that they will not meet a February 2009 launch date for the fifth and final shuttle mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. The decision comes after engineers completed assessments of the work needed to get a second data handling unit for the telescope ready to fly.

The unit will replace one that failed on Hubble in late September, causing the agency to postpone the servicing mission, which had been targeted for Oct. 14.

"We now have done enough analysis of all the things that need to happen with the flight spare unit to know that we cannot be ready for a February launch," said NASA's Astrophysics Division Director Jon Morse at NASA Headquarters in Washington.

"The February date was an initial estimate, assuming minimal hardware preparations and test durations that are no longer viewed as realistic. We've communicated our assessment to the Space Shuttle Program so it can adjust near-term plans. We will work closely with the Shuttle Program to develop details for a new launch opportunity."

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Endeavour Crew Arrives For Practice Countdown
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) Oct 27, 2008
STS-126 Commander Chris Ferguson and his crew flew to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Sunday afternoon for three days of intense training known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, or TCDT.







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