Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Endeavour Ready for Holidays

Space shuttle Endeavour's hatch has been closed and purging systems are set up to blow warm air into the shuttle and critical systems during the holiday break. Standing inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Endeavour has been bolted onto its external tank and twin solid rocket boosters. The temperature inside the shuttle will be kept at about 70 degrees with about 50 percent humidity. Warm air is circulated around the main engines and orbital maneuvering system thrusters to protect them from the colder temperatures. They will come on when the forecast calls for temperatures of 45 degrees or lower for four hours.

Endeavour's next major milestone is scheduled for Jan. 6, 2010, when it is rolled out to Launch Pad 39A. Liftoff of the spacecraft on the STS-130 mission is targeted for Feb. 7 at 4:39 a.m. EST.