Wednesday, April 27, 2011

STS-134: "Go" for Launch on Friday April 29 at 15:47 EDT

STS-134 Mission Patch

STS-134 (ISS assembly flight ULF6) will be the final flight of Space Shuttle Endeavour with a scheduled liftoff at 15:47 EDT for a 14 day mission to the International Space Station (the launch window is 10 minutes long and opens at 15:42 EDT and closes at 15:52 EDT) . Touchdown is scheduled for 13 May 2011 at 9:28 EDT. This flight will be delivering the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and an ExPRESS Logistic Carrier. This mission will be the 165th NASA manned spaceflight, the 134th shuttle mission and the 25th and final flight for Endeavour.

STS-134 will be crewed by : Mark Kelly (Commander), Gregory Johnson (Pilot), Michael Fincke (MS1), Roberto Vittori (MS2), Andrew Feustel (MS3) and Gregory Chamitoff (MS4). All veterans of previous spaceflights.

STS-134 Mission Poster

Endeavour and her crew will be delivering the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer 2 which is a particle physics detector that is designed to search for antimatter and the origin and structure of dark matter. The ExPRESS Logistics Carrier 3 will carry several Orbital Replacement Units which include a High Pressure Gas Tank, an Ammonia tank Assembly, a S band Antenna Subsystem Assembly, a Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator Arm and a spare pallet controller avionics box. Endeavour will also carry the Sensor Test of Orion Rel-nav Risk Mitigation Detailed Test Objective (STORRMDO) kit.

The Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer

Four spacewalks (EVAs) are scheduled for this flight and are currently scheduled to be the final EVAs conducted by a shuttle crew. EVA1 will be on flight day 5, EVA2 will be on flight day 7, EVA3 on flight day 9 and the final EVA will be on flight day 11.

President Obama and the first family are expected to attend Thursday's launch. This will be the first time since 1998 a sitting president has visited the Kennedy Space Center to view a manned space launch. Another special guest will be Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., the wife of Endeavour commander Mark Kelly. Giffords was shot in the head in an assassination attempt Jan. 10 at a meeting with constituents in Tucson. The latest reports indicate that Giffords has made steady progress since the assassination attempt, and that she has secured the approval of her medical team to travel to the launch.

The best place to watch the launch on-line is at The link to the Mission Status Center can be found here where Miles O'Brien, David Walters and former astronaut Leroy Chiao will be providing a live web cast starting at 11:00 EDT. Launch coverage is also available on NASA TV web cast and the link can be found here.

Good luck and GOD bless the crew of Endeavour. Will see you back home on the good Earth on the 13th of May.

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