NASA sets May 16 for final space shuttle Endeavour launch
A short in the heater circuit resulted in the launch postponement.
May 10, 2011
NASA managers have set space shuttle Endeavour’s liftoff for 8:56 a.m. EDT Monday, May 16. Launch attempts are available through May 26, except for May 21. The STS-134 mission to the International Space Station is the penultimate shuttle flight and the final one for Endeavour.
At Launch Pad 39A, space shuttle Endeavour sits poised for launch. NASA
Mike Moses and Mike Leinbach from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida announced the date at a news briefing Monday, May 9. They also discussed the progress of repairs since Endeavour's launch postponement April 29.
A short in the heater circuit associated with Endeavour's hydraulic system resulted in the launch postponement. Technicians determined the most likely failure was inside a switchbox in the shuttle's aft compartment and associated electrical wiring connecting the switchbox to the heaters. The heater circuits prevent freezing of the fuel lines, providing hydraulic power to steer the vehicle during ascent and entry.
The faulty box was replaced May 4. Since Friday, May 6, Kennedy technicians installed and tested new wiring that bypasses the suspect electrical wiring and confirmed the heater system is working properly. They also are completing retests of other systems powered by the switchbox and are closing out Endeavour's aft compartment.
STS-134 Commander Mark Kelly and his five crewmates are set to arrive at Kennedy for prelaunch preparations Thursday, May 12, at approximately 11 a.m. NASA Television will broadcast the crew's arrival live.
The crew will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 (AMS) and critical supplies to the space station, including two communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank, and additional parts for the Dextre robot. AMS is a particle physics detector designed to search for various types of unusual matter. The crew also will transfer Endeavour's orbiter boom sensor system to the station, where it could assist spacewalkers as an extension for the station's robotic arm.