NASA’s shuttle ready for take off

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NASA’s space shuttle Endeavor is preparing its third attempt to launch on a construction mission to the International Space Station scheduled on Saturday, [7:39] PM EDT.

Why third attempt you ask?

Well, the last two attempts to launch the shuttle were cancelled because of potentially dangerous hydrogen fuel leaks. Technicians already fixed the leaks though and just last week, filled the fuel tank with 500,000 gallons or 1.9 million liters (big huh?) of supercold liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. This was done to test if indeed, the repair was successful.

The mission? The Endeavor crew will install a porch onto Kibo – Japan’s first human space facility which enhances the unique research capabilities – for science experiments, replace batteries in a solar panel wing, and do other maintenance tasks.

The 3-day launch countdown began last Wednesday. Meteorologists however, predicted that conditions suitable for the launch this Saturday will only be 40 percent.

“We’re all eager to get Endeavour and her crew on their way to the International Space Station,” said Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, a shuttle launch manager. “We’re ready to fly this mission.”

Let’s just hope it doesn’t rain on their parade 😉

Source:

http://www.reuters.com/article/scienceNews/idUSTRE5680HJ20090709