NASA – Teams at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida continue to prepare space shuttle Endeavour for a liftoff on Monday at 8:56 a.m. EDT. Everything is going on schedule reported NASA Test Director Jeff Spaulding.
Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters reported that the current forecast calls for a 70 percent chance of acceptable conditions a launch time.
The Space Shuttle is the world’s first reusable spacecraft, and the first spacecraft in history that can carry large satellites both to and from orbit. The Shuttle launches like a rocket, maneuvers in Earth orbit like a spacecraft and lands like an airplane. Each of the three Space Shuttle orbiters now in operation — Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour — is designed to fly at least 100 missions. So far, altogether they have flown a combined total of less than one-fourth of that.
Columbia was the first Space Shuttle orbiter to be delivered to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla., in March 1979. Columbia and the STS-107 crew were lost Feb. 1, 2003, during re-entry. The Orbiter Challenger was delivered to KSC in July 1982 and was destroyed in an explosion during ascent in January 1986. Discovery was delivered in November 1983. Atlantis was delivered in April 1985. Endeavour was built as a replacement following the Challenger accident and was delivered to Florida in May 1991. An early Space Shuttle Orbiter, the Enterprise, never flew in space but was used for approach and landing tests at the Dryden Flight Research Center and several launch pad studies in the late 1970s.