Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Discovery on Tap for Rollout to Pad

Wed, 24 Feb 2010 07:51:25 PM GMT+0530

At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Discovery now is attached to its external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters atop the mobile launcher platform in the Vehicle Assembly Building.

Engineers are preparing the shuttle for its rollout to Launch Pad 39A, which is scheduled for March 2 at 12:01 a.m. EST.

The STS-131 astronauts are conducting a deorbit integrated simulation today at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Discovery's crew will head to Kennedy early next month to participate in the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, or TCDT, and related prelaunch training.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Crew Enjoys Off-Duty Time

The International Space Station is seen from space shuttle Endeavour after the station and shuttle began their post-undocking relative separation Friday.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Endeavour and Discovery do Shuttle Shuffle

Mon, 22 Feb 2010 07:53:20 PM GMT+0530

Just after space shuttle Endeavour made its way back to its Orbiter Processing Facility hangar, crews prepared to roll shuttle Discovery from the facility to the nearby Vehicle Assembly Building. The move, set for 10 a.m. EST this morning, paves the way for Discovery's roll to the launch pad on Mar. 2.

Discovery's astronauts are set to arrive at Kennedy this morning to inspect equipment they will use during their STS-131 mission.

Following last night's landing, Shuttle Launch Integration Manager Mike Moses said that space shuttle Endeavour's landing capped off a flawless mission. "The crew did an outstanding job," Moses said, referring to the complex task of installing Tranquility and its seven-windowed cupola to the International Space Station. "The landing today went as smooth as you can hope for -- by the numbers."

Moses wrapped up his remarks about the STS-130 mission by saying, "It was an outstanding mission -- I can't be happier with the success we had and look forward to repeating that on our next mission."

Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach was extremely pleased with Endeavour's condition."One of the most magical things we get to do here at Kennedy Space Center is walk around the orbiter after a mission from space. She looks really, really good," Leinbach said. Leinbach also congratulated Norm Knight and his team in the Mission Control Center at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston for a job well done.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Station and Endeavour Crews Say Goodbye

An orbital sunrise is featured in this image photographed by Expedition 22 Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi from a window in the newly-installed cupola of the International Space Station.

The Expedition 22 and STS-130 crews bid one another farewell, and the hatches between the two spacecraft closed at 3:08 a.m. EST Friday. Space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to undock from the International Space Station at 7:54 p.m.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

President Obama Speaks to Orbiting Astronauts

Aboard the International Space Station, the Expedition 22 crew, dressed in blue shirts, and the STS-130 crew talk with President Barack Obama.

All 11 astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station and space shuttle Endeavour received a congratulatory phone call from President Barack Obama Wednesday. The president was accompanied at the White House by congressional leaders and a dozen middle school students from across the country who are in Washington, D.C. for a national engineering competition.

Joining the president were 12 students from Birney Middle School of Detroit, Elkhorn Middle School of Omaha, Neb., St. Thomas the Apostle of Miami and Davidson IB Middle School of Davidson, N.C. These students are in Washington as leaders of four of 39 teams participating in the "Future City" engineering competition hosted by National Engineers Week.

Building on the president's "Educate to Innovate" campaign and his emphasis on inspiring young adults to pursue excellence in science, technology, engineering and math, the students are all leaders of teams that are finalists. The competition included 34,000 seventh and eighth graders from across the nation who produced innovative ideas and designs for a city of tomorrow. The Davidson IB Middle School team was the overall winner of the national competition.

After the call, internal outfitting of the new station modules filled up most of the timeline for Wednesday, an extra day on orbit which was added specifically to support this activity. Crew members relocated the remaining system racks of the regenerative environmental control and life support system—both Water Recovery System racks, the Waste Hygiene Compartment, and the Oxygen Generation System—into empty rack spaces in Tranquility, and finished setting up hardware in the new cupola module.

The STS-130 mission included three spacewalks and the delivery of a connecting module that increases the station’s interior space. Node 3, known as Tranquility, provides additional room for crew members and many of the station's life support and environmental control systems. Attached to the node is a cupola, which is a robotic control station with six windows around its sides and another in the center that will provide a panoramic view of Earth, celestial objects and visiting spacecraft. The space station is now about 90 percent complete.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Crews Relocate Pressurized Mating Adapter 3

The International Space Station and space shuttle Endeavour crews are continuing with robotics and hardware relocation activities while preparing for the third and final spacewalk of the STS-130 mission.

Mission Specialists Nicholas Patrick and Robert Behnken, together with Expedition 22 Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi, maneuvered the Pressurized Mating Adapter 3 from its location on the Harmony module to the open port on the end of Tranquility at 9:28 p.m. EST Tuesday.

Patrick and Behnken reviewed plans for the third and final planned spacewalk with Mission Specialist Stephen Robinson, the intravehicular officer, along with Endeavour Commander George Zamka, Pilot Terry Virts and station Flight Engineer T.J. Creamer.

The spacewalkers will hook up heater and data cables between the relocated adapter and Tranquility during a spacewalk scheduled to begin at 9:09 p.m. Patrick and Behnken will open the second of two ammonia loops to allow its coolant to flow through Tranquility and disconnect temporary power cables. They’ll remove insulation from the cupola’s seven windows and then release bolts that held the covers in place during launch, enabling astronauts to open the shutters from inside.

The newly installed Advanced Resistive Exercise Device got an early test run in Tranquility by Williams, and all seemed to go well. Experts on the ground continued to analyze results.

The STS-130 mission includes three spacewalks and the delivery of a connecting module that will increase the station’s interior space. Node 3, known as Tranquility, will provide additional room for crew members and many of the station's life support and environmental control systems. Attached to the node is a cupola, which is a robotic control station with six windows around its sides and another in the center that will provide a panoramic view of Earth, celestial objects and visiting spacecraft. After the node and cupola are added, the space station will be about 90 percent complete.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cupola Relocated to Tranquility's Earth-Facing Port

The cupola, attached to the station's robotic arm, is relocated to Tranquility's Earth-facing port.

The Expedition 22 and STS-130 crews moved the cupola from the Tranquility node’s forward side to Tranquility’s nadir (Earth-facing) port Monday. The second stage capture of the cupola was at 1:31 a.m. EST, signifying the completion of the module’s relocation. It is securely latched and all Common Berthing Mechanism bolts have been driven in.

STS-130 Mission Specialist Kathryn Hire and Pilot Terry Virts moved the cupola, operating the station’s Canadarm2 from controls in the U.S. laboratory, Destiny. Expedition 22 Commander Jeff Williams operated the latches and bolts that released the cupola from its launch location and then secured it to its new home.

There was a minor delay in releasing the cupola. The bolts attaching it to its launch position on Tranquility had been torqued in Earth’s gravity and were a little tighter than expected. Flight controllers slightly increased the torque to release the bolts, resolving the problem. The cupola’s attachment to the Earth-facing port went smoothly.

Outfitting of the cupola, including preparations for filling water lines and for installation of a robotics workstation there, continued. Crew members are expected to get their first look out the cupola windows after Tuesday’s third and final scheduled spacewalk of Endeavour’s stay at the station.

Endeavour’s spacewalkers, Mission Specialists Robert Behnken and Nicholas Patrick spent about an hour and a half early in their day preparing for that excursion. Part of those preparations involved resizing another spacesuit for Behnken. The suit he wore on the first two spacewalk had some communications dropouts.

The station’s refurbished Urine Processing Assembly continued to work as expected. Flight controllers said it processed more than 2.5 gallons of urine during the day.

The STS-130 mission includes three spacewalks and the delivery of a connecting module that will increase the station’s interior space. Node 3, known as Tranquility, will provide additional room for crew members and many of the station's life support and environmental control systems. Attached to the node is a cupola, which is a robotic control station with six windows around its sides and another in the center that will provide a panoramic view of Earth, celestial objects and visiting spacecraft. After the node and cupola are added, the space station will be about 90 percent complete.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

JPL Hosts Annual High-Tech Small Business Conference

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., in conjunction with NASA and the Small Business Administration, are hosting the 22nd annual High-Tech Conference for Small Business on Tuesday, March 2, and Wednesday, March 3, at the Westin Hotel located at 5400 West Century Blvd., Los Angeles, Calif. 90045, near Los Angeles International Airport.

This conference provides a forum for technology-oriented small businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and service-disabled veterans, and small businesses located in historically underutilized areas or zones, to learn about subcontract opportunities. There, they can meet with major corporations, federal agencies, local government agencies and JPL's purchasing and technical communities.

The conference offers various "how-to" workshops that include detailed explanations about conducting business with JPL and the federal government, and discussions of emerging technologies and JPL's future technological needs.

The workshops are designed to improve business development and strategy skills for small businesses. Workshop speakers and panelists are selected for their expertise in procurement and high-tech programs. The featured keynote speakers are chosen for their contributions to small business.

"The objective of the conference is to assist small businesses in acquiring contract work with large, technologically-driven, successful companies, while simultaneously helping JPL meet its socioeconomic goals," said Martin Ramirez, manager for the Business Opportunities Office at JPL.

Due to limited space, only prime contractors and government agencies will be allowed to exhibit. There is no fee to exhibit. Interested and qualified exhibitors should contact Jasmine Colbert at 818-354-8689.

Last year's event drew more than 1,000 attendees, including about 250 prime contractors, various JPL subcontractors and government representatives participating as exhibitors.

Those interested in attending are encouraged to register early for this event. Online registration is available at: The cost for 22nd annual High-Tech Conference for Small Business is $140 per person. Registration deadline is Monday, Feb. 22.

JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010



CloudSat is the first satellite that uses an advanced radar to "slice" through clouds to see their vertical structure, providing a completely new observational capability from space (previous weather satellites could only image the uppermost layers of clouds). CloudSat's primary goal is to furnish data needed to evaluate and improve the way clouds are represented in global models, thereby contributing to better predictions of clouds and thus to their poorly understood role in climate change and the cloud-climate feedback.

CloudSat is an international and interagency mission with project management by JPL. Partners include the Canadian Space Agency, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Department of Energy. Ball Aerospace designed and built the spacecraft.

Mission Details:

Purpose: Radar studies of clouds

Congratulating the Team

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, left, is seen in this fish-eye view as he congratulates NASA Shuttle Launch Director Michael Leinbach and the launch team in Firing Room Four of the Launch Control Center for a successful launch of the space shuttle Endeavour and the start of the STS-130 mission at NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Monday, Feb. 8, 2010. Endeavour and its crew will deliver to the International Space Station a third connecting module, the Italian-built Tranquility node and the seven-windowed cupola, which will be used as a control room for robotics.

Crew Completes Heat Shield Inspection

The space shuttle Endeavour astronauts inspected the shuttle’s thermal protection system, checked out spacesuits and prepared to dock with the International Space Station during their first full work day in space.

Much of the day for Commander George Zamka, Pilot Terry Virts and Mission Specialists Kay Hire, Stephen Robinson, Nicholas Patrick and Robert Behnken was devoted to inspection of the shuttle’s heat-resistant tiles and reinforced carbon-carbon surfaces on the wing leading edges and the nose.

Zamka, Hire and Patrick used the shuttle’s arm and its Orbital Boom Sensor System extension to survey Endeavour’s right wing. Subsequently Virts and Robinson joined the commander for the nose cap survey. Hire replaced Zamka for the port wing survey.

While the port wing survey continued, Patrick and Behnken checked out the spacesuits they will use on three spacewalks they will perform while at the station. Next they prepared spacewalk equipment and supplies for transfer to the station.

Among the last activities of the crew day was a checkout of rendezvous tools by Hire and Robinson and installation of a centerline camera by Patrick and Behnken, who then extended the shuttle’s docking ring. The camera looks out through the center of the ring to help Zamka and other crew members guide Endeavour to the station’s Pressurized Mating Adapter-2 docking port. The ring is the first part of the shuttle to contact the station and helps to firmly attach them to one another.

The shuttle crew is scheduled to be awakened at 5:14 p.m. EST for docking day. Endeavour is scheduled to dock with the station shortly after midnight Wednesday.

Monday, February 8, 2010

NASA Radar Studies Continue in Central America, Hispaniola

NASA radar imaging flights over Central America, Haiti and the Dominican Republic are in the second week of a three-week campaign.

The JPL-developed Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle Synthetic Aperture Radar (UAVSAR) is currently in the second week of a three-week campaign in Central America, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Flying beneath the belly of a modified Gulfstream III aircraft from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, the sophisticated radar can spot minute changes in Earth's surface by flying precise repeat passes over targeted areas. The Central American survey flights are focusing on measuring biomass in Central American rain forests, imaging volcanoes from Guatemala to Costa Rica, and imaging Mayan ruins. The flights over Haiti and the Dominican Republic are targeting earthquake faults on the island of Hispaniola. Scientists collected data over Central American nations again on Feb. 2, and then flew a second set of data tracks over Haiti on Feb. 3 before returning to Costa Rica on Feb. 4.

New NASA Web Site Launches Kids on Mission to Save Our Planet

Climate change can be a daunting topic for most adults to grasp, let alone kids. A new NASA Web site can help our future explorers and leaders understand how and why their planet is changing and what they can do to help keep it habitable.

Called "Climate Kids," the new Web site is the latest companion to NASA's award-winning Global Climate Change Web site, Geared toward students in grades 4 through 6, the multimedia-rich Climate Kids site uses age-appropriate language, games and humorous illustrations and animations to help break down the important issue of climate change. Climate Kids can be found at

Visitors to Climate Kids can:
  • Command an interactive Climate Time Machine to travel back and forth through time and see how climate changes have affected our world or may affect it in the future.
  • Choose the "greenest" transportation options in a game called "Go Green," or go on a "Wild Weather Adventure."
  • Learn about green careers from people who are working to understand climate change.
"The climate our children inherit will be different from what we as adults know today," said Diane Fisher of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., who developed the content for the site. "Climate Kids aims to answer some of the big questions about global climate change using simple, fun illustrations and language kids can relate to, helping them become better stewards of our fragile planet. Students will learn basic Earth science concepts such as what the difference is between weather and climate, how we know Earth's climate is changing and what the greenhouse effect is."

Climate Kids is a collaboration between JPL's Earth Science Communications Team and NASA's award-winning Space Place website, which is at

NASA's Global Climate Change Web site is devoted to educating the public about Earth's changing climate, providing easy-to-understand information about the causes and effects of climate change and how NASA studies it. For more on NASA's Earth Science Program, visit:

JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

Expedition 22 Awaits Arrival of Endeavour

Space shuttle Endeavour lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., at 4:14 a.m. EST Monday, beginning STS-130, the 32nd shuttle flight to the International Space Station.

Commander George Zamka is leading the STS-130 mission to the International Space Station aboard Endeavour. Terry Virts is serving as the pilot. Mission Specialists are Nicholas Patrick, Robert Behnken, Stephen Robinson and Kathryn Hire. Virts is making his first trip to space.

Shuttle Endeavour and its crew will deliver to the space station a third connecting module, the Italian-built Tranquility node and the seven-windowed Cupola, which will be used as a control room for robotics. The mission will feature three spacewalks.

Endeavour is scheduled to dock with the station at 12:09 a.m. Wednesday over the northern coast of Spain.

Suspected Asteroid Crash Leaves Odd Debris Trail

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has observed a mysterious X-shaped debris pattern and trailing streamers of dust that suggest a head-on collision between two asteroids. Astronomers have long thought the asteroid belt is being ground down through collisions, but such a smashup has never been seen before.

Asteroid collisions are energetic, with an average impact speed of more than 11,000 miles per hour, or five times faster than a rifle bullet. The comet-like object imaged by Hubble, called P/2010 A2, was first discovered by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research, or LINEAR, program sky survey on Jan. 6. New Hubble images taken on Jan. 25 and 29 show a complex X-pattern of filamentary structures near the nucleus.

"This is quite different from the smooth dust envelopes of normal comets," said principal investigator David Jewitt of the University of California at Los Angeles. "The filaments are made of dust and gravel, presumably recently thrown out of the nucleus. Some are swept back by radiation pressure from sunlight to create straight dust streaks. Embedded in the filaments are co-moving blobs of dust that likely originated from tiny unseen parent bodies."

Hubble shows the main nucleus of P/2010 A2 lies outside its own halo of dust. This has never been seen before in a comet-like object. The nucleus is estimated to be 460 feet in diameter.

Normal comets fall into the inner regions of the solar system from icy reservoirs in the Kuiper belt and Oort cloud. As comets near the sun and warm up, ice near the surface vaporizes and ejects material from the solid comet nucleus via jets. But P/2010 A2 may have a different origin. It orbits in the warm, inner regions of the asteroid belt where its nearest neighbors are dry rocky bodies lacking volatile materials.

This leaves open the possibility that the complex debris tail is the result of an impact between two bodies, rather than ice simply melting from a parent body.

"If this interpretation is correct, two small and previously unknown asteroids recently collided, creating a shower of debris that is being swept back into a tail from the collision site by the pressure of sunlight," Jewitt said.

The main nucleus of P/2010 A2 would be the surviving remnant of this so-called hypervelocity collision.

"The filamentary appearance of P/2010 A2 is different from anything seen in Hubble images of normal comets, consistent with the action of a different process," Jewitt said. An impact origin also would be consistent with the absence of gas in spectra recorded using ground-based telescopes.

The asteroid belt contains abundant evidence of ancient collisions that have shattered precursor bodies into fragments. The orbit of P/2010 A2 is consistent with membership in the Flora asteroid family, produced by collisional shattering more than 100 million years ago. One fragment of that ancient smashup may have struck Earth 65 million years ago, triggering a mass extinction that wiped out the dinosaurs. But, until now, no such asteroid-asteroid collision has been caught "in the act."

At the time of the Hubble observations, the object was approximately 180 million miles from the sun and 90 million miles from Earth. The Hubble images were recorded with the new Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute conducts Hubble science operations. The institute is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Friday, February 5, 2010

NASA Managers Say "Super Shuttle" Sunday Launch a "Go"

Fri, 05 Feb 2010 10:30:50 PM GMT+0530

Officials meeting a NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida reviewed space shuttle Endeavour's readiness for flight at the L-2 prelaunch meeting. They unanimously decided to move forward with the STS-130 mission countdown to launch on Sunday at 4:39 a.m. EST.

Mike Moses, shuttle launch integration manager, said, "We're really looking forward to this launch carrying up node 3 and the cupola.

"From the shuttle program perspective, looking at our launch readiness, we're in really good shape. We had a fantastic review this morning," continued Moses, "Unanimous poll, everyone's pressing forward to go for launch."

Bernardo Patti, ESA's International Space Station program manager, said how happy and proud he is to see the last two European elements ready for the space station. He also commented on the great support and cooperation between the space agencies and how rewarding the process has been.

Mike Leinbach, shuttle launch director, reported his team is not tracking any technical issues and everything is on track for the rotating service structure rollback at 8 a.m. Saturday and loading of the external fuel tank with propellants around 7:15 p.m.

"The team is energized and excited about the countdown... looking forward to getting Endeavour off the ground Sunday morning," said Leinbach.

Kathy Winters, shuttle weather officer, said the forecast has improved and there's only a 20 percent chance weather would be an issue at launch time. Although it may be a little chilly and breezy, no constraints should be violated. The forecast at the transoceanic abort landing sites in Spain and France also looks favorable.

Saturday at 7 p.m., NASA TV will air the fueling of Endeavour's external tank at At 11:30 p.m., live launch coverage will kick off on NASA TV.

You also can follow Endeavour's exciting countdown to launch with NASA's Launch Blog from inside Kennedy's Firing Room 3 beginning at 11:30 p.m. and continuing through main engine cutoff -- when Endeavour reaches orbit on its two-day race to the station.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

ISS Progress 36 Launches, Crew Prepares for Docking

The ISS Progress 36 (P36) unpiloted spacecraft launched at 10:45 p.m. EST Tuesday (9:45 a.m. Wednesday, Baikonur time), loaded with 1,940 pounds of propellant, 106 pounds of oxygen and air, 926 pounds of water and 2,683 pounds of spare parts and supplies.

On Thursday shortly before 11:30 p.m., P36 will dock automatically to the aft port of the Zvezda service module of the International Space Station using the Kurs docking system.

As the Progress made its way to the orbiting complex Wednesday, Expedition 22 Flight Engineers Maxim Suraev and Oleg Kotov conducted a conference call with Russian ground teams as they prepared for Thursday’s docking. The cosmonauts will monitor the approach of P36 while at the TORU, the Russian telerobotically operated rendezvous system, which they can use to monitor the Progress docking or take control of the process in the unlikely event that difficulties arise with the automated Kurs system.

Meanwhile, Commander Jeff Williams gathered tools to be used for the installation and outfitting of the Italian-built Tranquility node and the seven-windowed Cupola to be delivered by space shuttle Endeavour and the STS-130 crew. Endeavour is slated to launch Sunday at 4:39 a.m. from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and dock with the station early Tuesday.

Williams also conducted a periodic inspection of the Waste and Hygiene Compartment in the U.S. Destiny Laboratory as he flushed the water tank for air bubbles, took photographs then returned the tank back to service.

In addition, the crew had time scheduled for Earth observation and photography. Among Wednesday’s selected sites for observation was the Haiti disaster area.

Mystery of the Fading Star

Using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, astronomers have found a likely solution to a centuries-old riddle of the night sky.

Every 27 years, a bright star called Epsilon Aurigae fades over period of two years, then brightens. Although amateur and professional astronomers have observed the system extensively, the nature of both the bright star and the companion object that periodically eclipses it have remained unclear. The companion is known to be surrounded by a dusty disk, as illustrated in this artist's concept.

Data from Spitzer finally seems to have solved the riddle. Spitzer's infrared vision revealed the size of the dusty disk that swirls around the companion object. When astronomers plugged this data into a model of the system, they were able to rule out the theory that the main bright star is a supergiant. Instead, it is a bright star with a lot less mass. The new model also holds that the companion object is a so-called "B star" circled by a dusty disk.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Payload and Weather "Go" for Launch

Wed, 03 Feb 2010 08:56:36 PM GMT+0530

At today's prelaunch briefing held at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, managers reported space shuttle Endeavour, its payload and crew are ready for launch at 4:39 a.m. EST on Sunday for the 13-day STS-130 mission.

NASA Test Director Jeremy Graeber reported everything is progressing on schedule for Endeavour's flight to deliver the Italian-built Tranquility node and cupola to the International Space Station. "There are no issues and preps are going well," said Graeber.

According to Graeber the water leak that occurred in the Launch Control Center last week was confined to a south stairwell and cleanup was successfully accomplished.

"To summarize, Endeavour and the launch team are all ready to proceed and we're all very excited to pick up with the countdown leading up to Sunday's early morning launch," said Graeber.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Countdown to Launch, Astros Fly to Kennedy

Tue, 02 Feb 2010 08:23:54 PM GMT+0530

At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, crews continue preparing space shuttle Endeavour and Launch Pad 39A for launch. Primary activity for this afternoon is the pressurization of the shuttle's main propulsion system.

The STS-130 astronauts will fly to Kennedy tonight in Shuttle Training Aircraft, which are modified Gulfstream II jets. Landing at the Shuttle Landing Facility is expected around 10:30 p.m. EST. NASA TV will air the crew's arrival live on the Web at

Liftoff of Endeavour to the International Space Station is set for 4:39 a.m. Feb. 7. The countdown to launch begins 2 a.m. Thursday.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Less Than One Week to Launch

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 08:17:14 PM GMT+0530

At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, prelaunch activities are in full swing this week with the official launch countdown to space shuttle Endeavour's STS-130 mission set to begin at 2 a.m. EST Feb. 4.

Teams at Launch Pad 39A will be packing the astronauts' spacesuits into Endeavour today.

Meanwhile, the six STS-130 crew members who will fly to the International Space Station entered quarantine yesterday and now are on a sleep schedule to match their evening and overnight work hours during the mission. They will conduct final integrated ascent training in the motion base simulator today at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston and will be flying to Kennedy tomorrow night.

Last week, a water suppression system pipe leaked at Kennedy's Launch Control Center and workers have made progress during the weekend drying walls and carpets. This leak is not expected to hamper the liftoff of Endeavour at 4:39 a.m. EST Feb. 7.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Chief Financial Officer Beth Robinson will brief reporters about the agency's fiscal year 2011 budget during a teleconference at 12:30 p.m. EST today that can be heard on the Web