STS-113 Mission Journal  

STS-113 Mission Journal - Part 2

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The Endeavour crew in front of their ship earlier this month. NASA photo KSC-02PD-1695.
Endeavour has landed!
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NASA image of STS-113 crew patch, representing the addition of the P1 Truss to Space Station Alpha's structure, as well as the ISS crew exchange.
LEFT: The Endeavour crew.
RIGHT: STS-113 mission patch.

  • 22 November 2002 - Evening Update - SCRUB! - Once again, Endeavour's launch is postponed. This time, weather was the culprit, even though the Florida skies were clear. Mission managers tried in vain to wait for the last moment before deciding to postpone the launch until tomorrow.  NASA reports:

    Foul Weather at TAL Sites Forces STS-113 Launch Scrub
    NASA TV image of Space Shuttle Endeavour.Poor weather at the Trans-Atlantic Abort Landing, or TAL, sites in Spain forced managers to scrub Space Shuttle Endeavour's launch attempt Friday night. The culprit was rainshowers.
    STS-113 is now slated to begin its journey to the International Space Station at 6:50 p.m. CST Saturday [7:50PM EST/0050 GMT Sunday]. Forecasters and managers will continue to monitor the situation. NASA TV's coverage of Saturday's attempt will begin at 3:30 p.m. CST [4:30PM EST/2130 GMT]. NASA TV Schedule
  • 22 November - Afternoon Update - After a brief technical issue with the launch platform, mission managers have cleared Endeavour for fuelingNASA reports:

    STS-113 Set to Begin Today
    NASA photo of STS-113 Mission Specialist Michael Lopez-AlegriaLaunch day has arrived for Space Shuttle Endeavour. STS-113 is scheduled to lift off tonight at 7:15 CST [8:15PM EST/0115 GMT]. Workers began loading fuel into the External Tank at 11:14 a.m. CST [12:14PM EST/1714 GMT].
    STS-113 is an 11-day mission to deliver the Expedition Six crew and the Port 1 (P1) Integrated Truss Structure to the International Space Station. The STS-113 crew includes Commander James Wetherbee, Pilot Paul Lockhart, and Mission Specialists Michael Lopez-Alegria and John Herrington, and Expedition Six crew members Commander Kenneth Bowersox, Donald Pettit, and Nikolai Budarin, a cosmonaut with the Russian Space Agency.

    Weather is still a concern at emergency landing sites in Spain, but conditions at KSC were upgraded to 90%. Check the play-by-play links at right for up-to-the-minute commentary, and watch the whole thing live on NASA TV! Launch briefing here.

  • 22 November 2002 - LAUNCH DAY - Happy Friday, folks. Shuttle Endeavour is scheduled for liftoff tonight, if weather at KSC and backup landing sites in Spain cooperate. "The rain in Spain can detain the space-plane." Here's the latest schedule:

  • 21 November 2002 - Evening Update - We now know the exact launch time for tomorrow's flight. NASA reports:

    NASA Releases Launch Time
    John Herrington and Paul Lockhart shake hnds after arriving back at KSC Thursday. NASA photo KSC-02pd-1771.Program managers announced Thursday that Space Shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to begin its journey to the International Space Station at 7:15 p.m. CST Friday [8:15PM EST/0115 GMT Saturday]. Two concerns that delayed the launch of STS-113 have been addressed. The flex hose line that was leaking oxygen and a nitrogen flex hose inside Endeavour have been replaced. Also, they cleared the shuttle's robot arm for flight after analysis showed that damage received during flex hose troubleshooting efforts would not prevent the arm from performing its objectives during STS-113.
    STS-113 will deliver the P1 (P-One) Truss and the Expedition Six crew to the International Space Station. Weather forecasts indicate that there is an 80-percent chance of favorable weather at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., at launch time. NASA TV's coverage of liftoff begins at 4 p.m. CST [5PM EST/2200 GMT] Friday.

    Weather at the Florida launch site looks OK, with a 20% chance of high winds. Emergency landing sites don't look so good, so keep an eye out for possible further delays.

  • 21 November 2002 - Thursday - We should be hearing the exact launch time tonight. So far, we only know that it's between 7PM and 11PM tomorrow (that's between midnight and 0400 GMT Saturday). Weather looks 80% good at KSC, but Transoceanic Abort sites in Spain and Morocco look iffy. Stay tuned...

  • 20 November 2002 - Evening Update - Endeavour is cleared for flight! Tests at the robot arm's Canadian manufacturer show that the damage will not affect the mission. Also, the oxygen line leak was not a fleet-wide issue, so that makes Endeavour good to goNASA reports:

    Shuttle Arm Cleared for Flight
    Mission managers announced Wednesday night that Space Shuttle Endeavourís robot arm can complete its objectives at the International Space Station during STS-113. The arm was bruised during efforts to troubleshoot an oxygen leak inside Endeavour last week. Tests and analysis have now cleared it for flight. During STS-113, the shuttle arm will be used to lift the P1 (P-One) Truss out of the payload bay and hand it to its station counterpart, Canadarm2. Endeavour Pilot Paul Lockhart arrives at KSC. NASA photo KSC-02PD-1770.
    Managers also closed the issue with Endeavourís flex hose assemblies. A nitrogen and an oxygen hose have been replaced.
    Endeavour is scheduled to lift off between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday (0000 and 0400 GMT Saturday). Managers will announce the official launch time Thursday evening. Currently, weather forecasts indicate an 80-percent chance of favorable weather for lift off on Friday, with high winds being the main concern.

    The STS-113 crew arrived back at KSC today - pics here.

  • 20 November 2002 - Wednesday - The countdown has resumed, amid concerns that the robot arm may not be usable for this mission. NASA reports:

    STS-113 Countdown Under Way
    STS-113 Commander Jim Wetherbee during emergency egress training at KSC last month. NASA photo KSC-02PD-1546.At Kennedy Space Center Fla., preparations for a Friday launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour continue to press ahead. The launch countdown is now under way. Managers will meet tonight to discuss the damage that the shuttle's robot arm sustained during activities to troubleshoot a leak in an oxygen flex hose line assembly in Endeavour. They will also discuss the flex hose situation. The oxygen line and a nitrogen line have been replaced.
    A final determination about Endeavour's launch status could be made tonight. Currently, STS-113 is expected to lift off no earlier than Friday between 6 and 10 p.m. CST (0000 and 0400 GMT Saturday) to begin a mission to deliver the Expedtion Six crew and the P1 (P-One) Truss to the International Space Station.
    Weather forecasts call for an 80-percent chance of favorable weather at launch time Friday. The main concern is possible high winds.

    At least Delta 4 got off the ground today!

  • 19 November 2002 - Tuesday - Not much to report - no word on whether the countdown has resumed, even though we were expecting a status update from KSC today. NASA reports:

    Launch Update
    Endeavour's robot arm has a section cut away so that the interior can be examined. NASA photo KSC-02PD-1741.A leak in an oxygen flex hose assembly forced managers to scrub the STS-113 launch attempt on Nov. 10. Repair work for the flex hoses damaged Endeavour's robot arm. Tests will be performed on a robot arm boom in Canada this week to gauge structural effects of the damage. NASA managers and engineers continue to evaluate both technical issues to determine when STS-113 can safely launch. So far, the earliest date for lift off is Friday evening on Nov. 22 between 7-11 p.m. EST.
    Submit your STS-113 questions to our final KSC Direct! Question Board for a chance to win a mission poster! Your questions may be answered by a NASA astronaut!

    More launchpad processing pics are up at KSC.

  • 17 November 2002 - Sunday - Ground crews are working through the weekend to determine the extent of the damage to Endeavour's robotic arm. If it cannot fly, the arm could be removed, and the P1 Truss installation routine could be modified to rely entirely on the Station's own robotic arm. That would require a few weeks for arm removal and training for the new installation method. The worst-case scenario is that the arm would need to be repaired, which means Endeavour would have to come off the pad, delaying the flight until January. Meanwhile, in orbit, Expedition 5 is getting ready for the Shuttle's visit. NASA reports:

    Space Station Crew Practices P1 Installation
    NASA pic of the Expedition Five crew. Treschev, Whitson, and Korzun will be returning home on STS-113.Aboard the International Space Station this past week, the Expedition Five crew continued to prepare for the arrival STS-113, which will deliver Expedition Six and the P1 (P-One) Truss. The crew practiced the installation of the P1 to the port end of the S0 (S-Zero) Truss by performing a dry run with the station robot arm, Canadarm2. The addition of the P1 will continue the outward expansion of the station. Commander Valery Korzun, NASA ISS Science Officer Peggy Whitson and Flight Engineer Sergei Treschev also continued to pack for their return home with STS-113 and labeled space station experiment racks.

    A launch for this Friday is still possible, but the ISS crew has plenty of supplies if they did need to stay until January.

  • 15 November 2002 - Friday - Another Delay - Endeavour's launch has been pushed back to Friday, Nov 22nd due to concerns about the robot arm and scheduling conflicts with the Delta IV launch that also got delayed. The cause of the oxygen leak, now repaired, is suspected to be metal fatigue. After a 7:30PM EST conference, NASA reported:

    Space Shuttle Endeavour to Launch No Earlier Than Nov. 22
    Space Shuttle Endeavour waits on Pad 39A last week. NASA photo KSC-02PD-1697.The 16th shuttle flight to the International Space Station, STS-113, is now slated to launch no earlier than Nov. 22 between 6 and 10 p.m. CST (0000 and 0400 GMT Nov. 23). Friday's decision was made due to launch conflicts in the Eastern Range.
    The new launch date will give engineers more time to understand the cause of a leak in a faulty flex hose assembly in Space Shuttle Endeavour that forced managers to postpone the launch on Nov. 10. The flex hose assembly was successfully replaced. Also, engineers have more time to evaluate damage that the Endeavour's arm sustained during the repair work. The robot arm will be used to lift the P1 (P-One) Truss out of the payload bay and hand it to its station counterpart, Canadarm2.

    For security reasons, NASA will not announce the exact launch time until 24 hours in advance. For now, all we know is sometime between 7 and 11PM EST.

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