NASA managers completed a review Wednesday of space shuttle Endeavour's readiness for flight and selected June 13 as the official launch date for the STS-127 mission to the International Space Station. Commander Mark Polansky and his six crewmates are scheduled to lift off at 7:17 a.m. EDT from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Image right: STS-127 Mission Specialist Chris Cassidy practices driving the M-113 armored personnel carrier during emergency egress training. Other crew members seated behind him are Mission Specialist Julie Payette, Dave Wolf, Tom Marshburn and Pilot Doug Hurley. Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
Endeavour's launch date was announced following a daylong Flight
Readiness Review at Kennedy. During the meeting, top NASA and
contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission
and determined the shuttle's equipment, support systems and
procedures are ready for flight.
The 16-day mission will feature five spacewalks and complete
construction of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo
laboratory. Astronauts will attach a platform to the outside of the
Japanese module that will allow experiments to be exposed to space.
The STS-127 crew members are Polansky, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission
Specialists Dave Wolf, Christopher Cassidy, Tom Marshburn, Tim Kopra
and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Julie Payette. Kopra will join
the space station crew and replace Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata. Wakata will return to Earth on Endeavour to conclude a three-month stay at the station.