January 6, 2010

Endeavour At Launch Pad For Final Scheduled Night Launch

Crew Set to Arrive for Practice Liftoff

After reaching its launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida Wednesday, space shuttle Endeavour now awaits its next major milestone for the upcoming STS-130 mission. Reporters are invited to cover the launch dress rehearsal, known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, or TCDT, scheduled to take place at Kennedy from Jan. 19 to 21.

Endeavour arrived at Launch Pad 39A at 8:45 a.m. EST Wednesday on top of a giant crawler-transporter. The crawler-transporter left Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building at 4:13 a.m, traveling less than 1 mph during the 3.4-mile journey. The shuttle was secured on the pad at 10:37 a.m.

With Endeavour on the pad, the STS-130 astronauts and ground crews can participate in the practice countdown and related training starting Jan. 19. The rehearsal provides each shuttle crew with an opportunity to participate in various simulated countdown activities, including equipment familiarization and emergency training.

Journalists must apply for credentials by noon Friday, Jan. 8, to cover the TCDT.

Reporters requesting accreditation must apply online at: https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

Times for TCDT activities still are being finalized. Activities available for media coverage will include:

- Jan. 19: STS-130 crew arrival. The astronauts will arrive in the Shuttle Training Aircraft and T-38 jets at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility. Crew arrival will be broadcast live on NASA Television.

- Jan. 20: Crew media availability. The crew will take questions from reporters at Launch Pad 39A. The session will be carried live on NASA TV.

- Jan. 21: Crew walkout photo opportunity. The astronauts will depart from the Operations and Checkout Building in their flight entry suits in preparation for the countdown demonstration test at the launch pad. The walkout will not be broadcast live, but will air on NASA TV's Video File.

Updates with times for all events will be available by calling 321-867-2525.

The six astronauts for Endeavour's STS-130 mission will deliver a third connecting module, the Tranquility node, to the International Space Station. Endeavour's Feb. 7 target liftoff is at 4:39 a.m., making it the final scheduled space shuttle night launch.

NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

For more information about the space station and its crew, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station

For more information about the STS-130 mission and crew, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle


Image Caption: Space shuttle Endeavour atop the crawler transporter nears Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA TV