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Shuttle Endeavour Set For March 11 Launch Of Japanese Station Module

by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Feb 29, 2008
US space agency NASA confirmed it would launch the shuttle Endeavour on March 11 to deliver part of a Japanese space laboratory to an orbiting station, according to a statement Friday.

"We're right on the timeline," said Mike Leinbach, space shuttle launch director. "Endeavour is doing really well and we're ready to launch on the 11th."

The mission team will have to venture out on five space walks to set up the first of three Japanese installations at the station, which is aimed to be a key stage in deeper space exploration.

"After two days of evaluating launch preparations for the mission, the group has confirmed the readiness of the shuttle, flight crew and payload for the next flight to the International Space Station," it said.

"There are very few issues being worked and the shuttle is ready to go."

Endeavour is due to take off at 2:28 am (0728 GMT) on March 11 with a crew of seven, including the Japanese astronaut Takao Doi.

It will also deliver a piece of hardware from Canada -- a component for the station's robotic arm which is used to heft equipment into position.

NASA's last shuttle mission took a European laboratory to the station.

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Tunnels Of Activity Beneath The Shuttle Launch Pad
Cape Canaveral FL (SPX) Feb 26, 2008
The rumbling of space shuttle engines and the view of a spectacular liftoff cause excitement as they capture the imagination of the world. Support systems in the tunnels beneath Launch Pads 39A and 39B are not so glamorous, but are extremely important to the success of those launches.







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