Orbiter: Endeavour
Mission: STS-130
Payload: Tranquility
Launch: Feb. 7, 2010
Time: 4:39 a.m. EST
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center
Landing: Feb. 19 @ approx. 11:15 p.m.
Site: KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility

NASA TV Schedule

Countdown Timeline

Master Flight Plan

Launch Windows

Mission Video Vault

High Definition Video

STS-130 Archive

Mission Status Center

By Justin Ray

Welcome to Spaceflight Now's live coverage of space shuttle Endeavour's STS-130 mission to the International Space Station. Text updates will appear automatically; there is no need to reload the page. Follow us on Twitter.

Bookmark and Share

Reeling from a morale-sapping change of course, engineers are readying Endeavour for launch Sunday on NASA's final five shuttle missions, a three-spacewalk flight to attach a 15-ton crew module to the International Space Station.

Read our mission preview story.

1650 GMT (11:50 a.m. EST)
The Mission Management Team gathered this morning for its pre-launch meeting and verified all remains on track for Endeavour to go fly Sunday.

"The launch countdown of Endeavour is going extremely well. We're not tracking any technical issues at all," shuttle launch director Mike Leinbach says.

Liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen reactants for space shuttle Endeavour's electricity-generating fuel cells have been loaded into storage spheres beneath payload bay as standard work continues at pad 39A for Sunday's launch.

The cryogenics are combined by the three onboard fuel cells to produce power and a byproduct of drinking water during the shuttle's mission. Technicians pumped the reactants into small tanks on the orbiter during a multi-hour operation that occurred overnight.

The oxygen level is being adjusted this morning based on the desired weight of Endeavour for launch. The pad umbilical system used in the loading process will be demated and stowed later today.

Upcoming this afternoon and evening, final tests of the avionics, pneumatics and controllers for the three main engines will be completed.

Countdown clocks will enter the lengthy T-minus 11 hour planned hold period at 11 p.m. EST. That built-in hold should last 13 hours and 14 minutes.

The early morning chores at launch pad 39A on Saturday will focus on functional checks of the orbiter's star trackers, activating the inertial measurement units, thoroughly testing the communications network, loading the last items into the crew module, filling of the launch pad's sound suppression system water tank and installing film in pad cameras.

The giant gantry-like rotating service structure is scheduled for retraction from around Endeavour at 8 a.m. EST.

The weather forecast for Sunday's 4:39 a.m. EST launch time remains breezy but within limits.

The outlook from Air Force meteorologists: "A low pressure system is impacting the Gulf Coast with an associated cold front stretching into the Gulf of Mexico. A line of showers and thunderstorms is evident with the front. Kennedy Space Center winds are from the southeast and are currently gusting over 20 knots at Complex 39A, and will continue to increase through the day.

"Tonight, the line of storms in the Gulf will move through Florida with the cold front causing showers and thunderstorms in the KSC area. By Saturday morning, there will be lingering clouds and light precipitation, but the weather will improve through the day.

"By launch time, winds will still be gusty from the northwest, but should stay below the launch and abort landing wind constraints. Our primary concern for launch is wind at complex 39A."

There's an 80 percent chance of having acceptable weather on Sunday. The odds are similar for the backup launch opportunities on Monday and Tuesday, too.

"The pressure gradient decreases on Monday and the winds decrease; therefore, the only concern for weather Monday and Tuesday is a chance for a low-cloud ceiling," forecasters said.

0530 GMT (12:30 a.m. EST)
After completing tests of the shuttle's pyrotechnic initiator controllers, work to load the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen into Endeavour's power-generating fuel cells began tonight.

The countdown resumed ticking from the planned hold at T-minus 27 hours at 6 p.m. and will continue until the next hold point at T-minus 19 hours starting at 6 a.m. EST. That will be a 9-hour pause in which the ground team completes the fuel cell servicing work.

Also on Friday morning, mission managers will hold their launch readiness meeting to assess how final preparations are proceeding. The pre-launch news conference from Kennedy Space Center is planned for 11 a.m.

Meanwhile, the astronauts continue studying, exercising and reading procedures, according mission specialist Nick Patrick's message on Twitter. The remains on a sleep pattern of awaking at 5:45 p.m. and going to sleep at 9:45 a.m. EST.

0450 GMT (11:50 p.m. EST Thurs.)
A Russian cargo freighter flying on autopilot performed a successful rendezvous and docking with the space station Thursday night, delivering two-and-a-half tons of supplies and equipment for the international outpost and its resident crew.

Read our full story.

Endeavour's predawn blastoff Sunday begins the final countdown to retirement of the storied spaceships this year, leaving only a few opportunities left to see a shuttle launch in person.

Read our full story.

1830 GMT (1:30 p.m. EST)
The countdown began early Thursday for the planned predawn launching of the shuttle Endeavour Sunday on a three-spacewalk mission to attach a new module to the International Space Station.

"All of our vehicle systems are in great shape, the crews are very excited about the upcoming launch, both flight crew and our ground crews," said NASA Test Director Jeffrey Spaulding. "The countdown itself is going extremely well."

Read our full story.

0703 GMT (2:03 a.m. EST)
COUNT BEGINS. Countdown clocks at the Kennedy Space Center just began ticking toward Sunday's scheduled launch of the space shuttle Endeavour.

The official countdown sequence began at 2 a.m. EST inside Firing Room 4 of the Complex 39 Launch Control Center. Launch team members had gathered for the "call-to-stations" at 1:30 a.m. EST.

The count began from the T-minus 43 hour mark. But a series of holds are timed throughout the next few days, leading to the targeted liftoff time of 4:39 a.m. EST.

Activities planned during the early portion of the countdown for shuttle workers include buttoning up launch pad equipment and removing platforms inside the orbiter's crew module, reviewing flight software stored in Endeavour's mass memory units, loading backup software into the general purpose computers and testing navigation systems.

The early weather forecast for launch predicts a 70 percent chance of acceptable conditions at the Kennedy Space Center, Air Force meteorologists say. Gusty winds will be the issue to watch on Sunday.

The outlook predicts scattered clouds at 3,000 feet, good visibility, northwesterly winds from 330 degrees at 13 peaking to 20 knots and a temperature of 50 degrees F.

The odds of favorable weather for the backup launch opportunities on Monday and Tuesday are 90 and 80 percent, respectively. Low clouds will pose slight concerns on both days.

NASA is not reporting any technical concerns that would delay Sunday's launch attempt.

NASA is ready to begin the countdown for shuttle Endeavour's launch. The three-day count will start at 2 a.m. EST Thursday.

"There are no issues and preps are going well," said test director Jeremy Graeber.

"To summarize, Endeavour and the launch team are all ready to proceed and we're all very excited to pick up with the countdown leading up to Sunday's early morning launch," Graeber said.

0430 GMT (11:30 p.m. EST Tues.)
With just five space shuttle missions left to fly, the astronauts who will launch aboard Endeavour this weekend are sharing their thoughts on the venerable spaceplanes that'll soon be history.

Read our full story.

0405 GMT (11:05 p.m. EST Tues.)
Before space shuttle Endeavour reaches the International Space Station, the outpost will receive an unmanned cargo-delivery freighter that successfully launched atop a Russian Soyuz rocket Tuesday night.

Read our full story.

0345 GMT (10:45 p.m. EST Tues.)
Liftoff of the Russian Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying the 36th Progress cargo-delivery vessel destined for the International Space Station!
0330 GMT (10:30 p.m. EST Tues.)
Ready to begin counting down to their blastoff aboard the space shuttle Endeavour this weekend, the six astronauts traveled from the Houston training base to the Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday night.

Read our full story.

0314 GMT (10:14 p.m. EST Tues.)
The aircraft has pulled to a stop and now the astronauts are filing off.
0309 GMT (10:09 p.m. EST Tues.)
Touchdown. The astronauts just landed at the Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility runway. The aircraft is taxiing to the tarmac where the reporters and photographers have assembled to cover the crew's arrival tonight.
1006 GMT (10:06 p.m. EST Tues.)
The sun is rising at the historic Baikonur Cosmodrome in Central Asia where the countdown is proceeding toward liftoff of the Soyuz. The gantry towers that had wrapped around the rocket on the launch pad are retracting away now.
0255 GMT (9:55 p.m. EST Tues.)
Arrival is expected in just minutes.
0247 GMT (9:47 p.m. EST Tues.)
The Shuttle Training Aircraft bringing the astronauts to Florida has reached the west coast of the state. Arrival is coming up shortly and you can watch it live in our streaming video coverage.

A reminder that if you will be away from your computer but would like to receive occasional countdown updates, sign up for our Twitter feed to get text messages on your cellphone. U.S. readers can also sign up from their phone by texting "follow spaceflightnow" to 40404. (Standard text messaging charges apply.)

0230 GMT (9:30 p.m. EST Tues.)
Meanwhile, a Russian Soyuz rocket is fueled and poised for blastoff at 10:45 p.m. EST tonight from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The booster will propel a resupply ship toward the International Space Station for docking on Thursday night.
0220 GMT (9:20 p.m. EST Tues.)
The crew is half-way across the Gulf of Mexico on this 900-mile trip to the launch site. They should arrive here at Kennedy Space Center a little under an hour from now.
0130 GMT (8:30 p.m. EST Tues.)
The shuttle Endeavour astronauts have departed Ellington Field near the Johnson Space Center in Houston for the plane ride over to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Their touchdown is now expected around 10:15 p.m. EST.
2315 GMT (6:15 p.m. EST)
Now operating on their overnight work shift for Sunday's predawn launch to the space station, the shuttle Endeavour astronauts were awakened at 5:45 p.m. EST this evening. They are packing up and getting ready to leave Houston at 8:30 p.m. EST for tonight's flight over to the Cape.

The crew is scheduled to arrive at the Kennedy Space Center around 10:30 p.m. EST and make a few statements to the gathered news media at the runway.

You can watch the astronauts' launch site arrival live on this page later tonight.

With their launch just a week away, the shuttle Endeavour astronauts went into pre-flight medical quarantine Sunday, setting the stage for the crew's travel from Houston to Cape Canaveral on Tuesday night.

Liftoff of the construction mission to the International Space Station remains on schedule for Sunday morning at 4:39 a.m. EST (0939 GMT).

"There's a space shuttle with four million pounds of propellant and international payloads strapped to it and thousands of bits of hardware to handle, all with our names on it at pad 39A at the Cape. We've been preparing ourselves for this mission for a year, and arguably, we've been preparing for most of our lives and we get one chance to get it right," said commander George Zamka.

"We are extremely fortunate to have been assigned to this mission. Flying in space is a dream for all of us, and the mission of bringing Tranquility and the cupola up to the space station is an extra special prize that we're particularly humbled and grateful for."

The six-person crew will work in tandem with the Expedition 22 residents living aboard the station to install the Tranquility module and oversee its activation as the new hub for the outpost's life-support systems. They'll also perform critical repairs aimed at getting the station's water generation gear back online.

The two crews had a teleconference this morning to discuss the upcoming joint work, according to commander Jeff Williams' live Twitter messages from the space station. You can follow his messages on Twitter here.

Endeavour spacewalker Nick Patrick, the Tweet-posting member of the shuttle crew, said the astronauts have shifted their sleep patterns in preparation for the largely overnight mission hours. You can follow his messages here.

Zamka and Patrick, plus pilot Terry Virts and mission specialists Kay Hire, Steve Robinson and Bob Behnken will depart Ellington Field near the Johnson Space Center in Houston on Tuesday evening for the plane ride over to the Florida spaceport. Arrival at the Kennedy Space Center launch site is expected around 10:30 p.m. EST.

The three-day launch countdown sequence is slated to begin at 2 a.m. EST on Thursday.

Last week, ground technicians installed ordnance devices on the shuttle, closed up Endeavour's aft engine compartment for launch and loaded software into the orbiter's mass memory units.

After getting the weekend off, the KSC workers will focus on pressurization of onboard systems and final countdown preps early this week.

You can follow Endeavour's countdown, launch and entire mission right here on this page. We'll have running play-by-play updates and live streaming video throughout the flight.

Our special launch webcast anchored by Miles O'Brien will begin at 12 a.m. EST on Sunday morning.

And if you would like to receive occasional updates from us via Twitter and sent to your cellphone, follow our feed. U.S. readers can also sign up from their phone by texting "follow spaceflightnow" to 40404. (Standard text messaging charges apply.)

NASA managers Wednesday cleared the shuttle Endeavour for a predawn Superbowl Sunday launch Feb. 7, the first of a final five space station assembly flights before the shuttle fleet is retired later this year.

Read our full story.

1910 GMT (2:10 p.m. EST)
The post-FRR news briefing from the Kennedy Space Center has been scheduled for 4 p.m. EST. You can watch right here in our streaming coverage coverage of STS-130.
1900 GMT (2:00 p.m. EST)
Today's Flight Readiness Review has concluded with a unanimous "go" for launch of Endeavour on Feb. 7 at 4:39 a.m. EST. Senior managers reviewed the readiness of the space shuttle and International Space Station for next month's mission to deliver the Tranquility connecting module to the complex.

A news conference with NASA officials is expected later this afternoon.

1710 GMT (12:10 p.m. EST)
The morning session of the Flight Readiness Review received briefings from the mission operations folks who will run STS-130 from Houston, examined some of the water system issues aboard the space station that Endeavour will bring spare parts to help fix and assessed the new ammonia cooling hoses that were put together recently after an earlier design failed pre-flight testing.

After a break for lunch, managers will spend the afternoon reviewing space shuttle topics.

NASA says the FRR could end by 3 p.m. and the news conference could start at 4 p.m. EST. However, those times are tentative and could change.

1530 GMT (10:30 a.m. EST)
The Flight Readiness Review is underway today at the Kennedy Space Center. Senior officials are examining all elements of mission preparations to ensure space shuttle Endeavour, its astronauts and payloads are ready to go fly the STS-130 mission, as well as the International Space Station is ready to receive this latest construction flight.

The meeting will culminate with managers setting the formal launch date. The shuttle is targeting a February 7 blastoff at 4:39 a.m. EST.

NASA plans to hold a post-FRR news conference this afternoon. The exact start time has not been determined. We'll post updates on this page and dispatch Twitter alerts as further details become available.

While launch pad technicians were buttoning up Endeavour's payload bay on Saturday, the crew aboard the International Space Station completed a critical robotics job to vacate the port where a new module will be attached during the space shuttle mission.

Read our full story.

Dressed in their bright orange spacesuits and following the scripted launch morning routine, the six astronauts who will blast off aboard Endeavour next month went to the launch pad and climbed inside the shuttle today for a realistic dry run.

Read our full story.

Work to modify hoses needed to route ammonia coolant to and from a new space station module is running on or ahead of schedule and the new lines should be delivered to the Kennedy Space Center in time for an on-schedule launch Feb. 7, officials said Wednesday.

Read our full story.

1445 GMT (9:45 a.m. EST)
Launch pad 39A's mobile service gantry that now has the Tranquility module loaded inside its cleanroom is being rotated back around space shuttle Endeavour right now.

Once the cocoon-like gantry encloses the shuttle, ground crews will open up Endeavour's payload bay doors so that the module can be loaded aboard for next month's flight to the International Space Station.

Meanwhile, the shuttle astronauts will take turns test-driving the armored tank as part of emergency training today.

They'll undergo briefings on the launch pad's escape systems and bunker tomorrow, as well as hold an informal news conference with reporters at about 9:10 a.m. EST.

Thursday is the simulated launch morning for the crew. The astronauts will get suited up and board Endeavour for the final hours of a practice countdown.

Also while at KSC, the commander and pilot fly the Shuttle Training Aircraft to sharpen their skills for bringing the orbiter into the spaceport's Shuttle Landing Facility and the entire crew gets to inspect Tranquility at the pad.

Commander George Zamka and his crew of space station builders reached Kennedy Space Center at sundown Monday for this week's emergency training exercises and a countdown dress rehearsal.

Read our full story.

2240 GMT (5:40 p.m. EST)
The five-man, one-woman crew of space shuttle Endeavour has set foot at the Florida spaceport.
2227 GMT (5:27 p.m. EST)
Here comes the rest of the crew, arriving at the Kennedy Space Center for this week's countdown rehearsal and training exercises.
2130 GMT (4:30 p.m. EST)
The other members of the crew are expected to reach KSC around 5:30 p.m. EST.
2126 GMT (4:26 p.m. EST)
Mission specialist Nick Patrick has arrived.
2120 GMT (4:20 p.m. EST)
Another of the T-38s just thundered over the Press Site en route for a flyby of Endeavour at pad 39A and landing at the Shuttle Landing Facility.
2115 GMT (4:15 p.m. EST)
The crew's arrival will be staggered. Mission specialist Bob Behnken just landed and climbed from his T-38 jet.
2110 GMT (4:10 p.m. EST)
The six astronauts are arriving at the Cape from Houston this afternoon for the start of their Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, which serves as a launch dress rehearsal for the crew and ground teams.

You can watch the arrival in our streaming video on the right-hand side of this page.

1225 GMT (7:25 a.m. EST)
The Tranquility module that'll be a new room with a view for the International Space Station was trucked to space shuttle Endeavour's launch pad overnight, destined for blastoff next month.

Read our full story.

NASA managers decided Tuesday to modify existing space station ammonia coolant hoses by welding shorter sections together to replace a longer hose design that failed a recent ground pressure test. If the work goes well - and the schedule is tight - NASA hopes to launch the shuttle Endeavour on Feb. 7 as planned to deliver a new module to the orbiting lab complex.

Read our full story.

Problems with ammonia lines and connectors needed to route cooling to and from a new space station module scheduled for launch aboard the shuttle Endeavour Feb. 7 could force NASA managers to modify or delay the assembly flight, sources said Friday.

Read our full story.

Working through bone-chilling temperatures gripping the Kennedy Space Center this morning, a small team of technicians moved the space shuttle Endeavour from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the launch pad for its early February trek to the International Space Station.

Read our full story.

Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:

1546 GMT (10:46 a.m. EST)
The mobile launch platform was "harddown" on the pad pedestals at 10:37 a.m. EST, marking the official time for Endeavour's arrival at pad 39A.
1530 GMT (10:30 a.m. EST)
The platform is slowly lowering down to the pedestals.
1447 GMT (9:47 a.m. EST)
The crawler has finished this morning's drive from the Vehicle Assembly Building, delivering space shuttle Endeavour atop launch pad 39A. But the rollout's official conclusion time will be marked when the launch platform is lowered down and secured to the pad pedestals.
1435 GMT (9:35 a.m. EST)
The crawler is getting the mobile launch platform positioned over the pad pedestals where Endeavour will be perched for its February 7 blastoff.
1420 GMT (9:20 a.m. EST)
Endeavour has climbed up the concrete ramp of launch pad 39A, its crawler-transporter having used massive hydraulic pistons to keep the mobile platform level.

Now atop the pad surface, a precision laser guidance system will help align the platform over the pad pedestals. The crawler will lower the platform onto the pedestals to complete the rollout.

1413 GMT (9:13 a.m. EST)
Now passing the five-hour mark into today's rollout.
1355 GMT (8:55 a.m. EST)
The crawler transporter hauling space shuttle Endeavour is now climbing the concrete ramp to the launch pad.
1340 GMT (8:40 a.m. EST)
The crawler has made the curve to reach the entrance to launch pad 39A.
1320 GMT (8:20 a.m. EST)
Hauling the shuttle stack out to launch pad 39A on this 3.5-mile trek is one of NASA's two Apollo-era crawler-transporters. The combined weight of the transporter, mobile launch platform and shuttle Endeavour is 17.5 million pounds.

The stone-covered pathway connecting the VAB to the launch pad is 130 feet wide -- almost as broad as an eight-lane highway. Two 40-foot-wide lanes are separated by a 50-foot-wide median strip. The average depth is seven feet.

About 30 people are aboard the transporter to operate it during the rollout, including three drivers -- a prime and backup in the front cabin and one in the rear -- a jacking and leveling operator, a control room operator to run crawler systems and talk with the Launch Control Center, two electricians, two electronic technicians and four diesel mechanics for starting, monitoring and shutting down the transporter's engines. The other team members are mechanics watching over the roll and helping with the platform's docking to the launch pad.

The transporter consumes 126 gallons of diesel fuel in each mile it travels from the VAB to pad. The vehicle has a fuel capacity of 5,000 gallons.

1230 GMT (7:30 a.m. EST)
The crawler has passed the fork in the road -- left to pad 39B or straight ahead to pad 39A. The rollout has been underway for just over three hours.
1200 GMT (7:00 a.m. EST)
The sun is rising over the Florida spaceport on a crystal clear morning. Endeavour continues to make good progress toward its destination.
1130 GMT (6:30 a.m. EST)
We have posted a photo gallery of the rollout's start. In bone-chilling temperatures gripping Central Florida, the space shuttle Endeavour emerges from the Vehicle Assembly Building for the journey to Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A.

See all of the pictures here.

1030 GMT (5:30 a.m. EST)
Our live video stream from the Kennedy Space Center press site continues as Endeavour inches its way to the launch pad in the predawn darkness.
0931 GMT (4:31 a.m. EST)
Space shuttle Endeavour has emerged from the 52-story landmark Vehicle Assembly Building where it spent the past three weeks being attached to the external fuel tank and twin solid rockets atop a mobile platform, then waiting out the holiday break.
0918 GMT (4:18 a.m. EST)
The official start time for the rollout was clocked at 4:13 a.m. EST.
0914 GMT (4:14 a.m. EST)
ROLLOUT BEGINS. Inside the cavernous Vehicle Assembly Building, the transporter has started driving space shuttle Endeavour toward Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A.
0910 GMT (4:10 a.m. EST)
A water truck is dousing the crawlerway just outside the VAB as a measure to prevent dust when the transporter rolls over the rocky roadway. Endeavour should be moving shortly.
0835 GMT (3:35 a.m. EST)
We are streaming live video of Endeavour's rollout on the right-hand side of this page. We'll be providing coverage throughout the day.
0815 GMT (3:15 a.m. EST)
At launch pad 39A, it is 34 degrees F and the wind chill is in the 20s. This is one very cold morning at the Kennedy Space Center.

The giant retractable doors on the Vehicle Assembly Building are open and activities are counting down toward the start of the shuttle's move.

0501 GMT (12:01 a.m. EST)
Final preparations are underway at Complex 39 for this morning's rollout of space shuttle Endeavour, despite the remarkably cold temperatures in Central Florida that are dropping to the freezing mark and even below.

Heaters and warm air purges have been established to protect the shuttle from the frigid weather.

But what about the ground crew who walks alongside the shuttle transporter during the trip from assembly building to the pad? The team has devised a special plan to rotate personnel every 30 minutes, shifting between the walk-along duties and getting warmed up inside vans.

The rollout is scheduled to commence at 4 a.m. EST (0900 GMT).

NASA is ready to roll the fully assembled space shuttle Endeavour to Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A beginning at 4 a.m. EST Wednesday.

The ground team responsible for moving the spacecraft along the 3.5-mile stone-covered roadway from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the seaside pad is scheduled to report for duty at 12 midnight.

The crawler-transporter will hydraulically lift the mobile launching platform and carry the shuttle on the six-hour trip. If all goes according to plan, Endeavour should be secured atop the pad and swing arms extended by noon.

Watch this page for live updates and streaming video coverage!

The orbiter was stacked to its external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters inside the VAB's High Bay No. 1 before the holidays. The shuttle was hooked up to heaters and secured for the quiet times while workers were off for the Christmas and New Year's break.

Teams returned to work Monday to begin 2010. The launch group is conducting a countdown simulation in the Firing Room today and the six Endeavour astronauts are in Houston running through a practice rendezvous with the space station.

Endeavour is targeted for launch February 7 on the first of five flights scheduled in this final year of space shuttle missions.

The two-week voyage of Endeavour will deliver the Tranquility module to the station. A detailed flight plan is posted here.

The space shuttle Endeavour has joined the external tank and solid rocket boosters for the early February ascent into space. Workers have completed hooking up the shuttle stack and have kicked off the interface testing.

Endeavour will be spending the holidays inside the Vehicle Assembly Building. Rollout to launch pad 39A is targeted for January 6.

And check out the latest video offerings in both standard and high definition!

Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:

The space shuttle Endeavour and its fuel tank were connected this afternoon, completing the initial stage of attachment. Further work is forthcoming to complete the structural mating of the shuttle elements, followed by an integrated systems test to verify proper electrical connectivity between the orbiter, tank, boosters and mobile platform.
1115 GMT (11:15 a.m. EST)
The crane has spotted the orbiter a matter of inches away from the attachment points on the external fuel tank. Technicians are getting to work on the multi-hour task of connecting Endeavour to the tank.
1100 GMT (6:00 a.m. EST)
Endeavour has been maneuvered into the Vehicle Assembly Building's high bay 1 where the external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters are stacked and waiting a mobile launching platform. The orbiter is being lowered into position for mounting to the tank.
0915 GMT (4:15 a.m. EST)
After a few hours spent undergoing a detailed photographic survey of its heat shield, the lifting of Endeavour up and over the transom in the assembly building is in progress.
0242 GMT (9:42 p.m. EST Fri.)
Endeavour is beginning to go vertical. The Vehicle Assembly Building cranes have started to turn the spacecraft upright to point its nose toward the sky.
0230 GMT (9:30 p.m. EST Fri.)
The Orbiter Transporter System that hauled Endeavour between the hangar and VAB earlier today has done its job and driven away. This clears the center aisle of the assembly building for rotation of the shuttle from horizontal to vertical.
0203 GMT (9:03 p.m. EST Fri.)
Shuttle Endeavour has begun to take its ride in the lifting sling. The overhead cranes just lifted the spacecraft off of its transporter. In the coming hours, Endeavour will be turned vertically and then hoisted over the transom into the assembly bay.
2355 GMT (6:55 p.m. EST)
A gallery of photos from Endeavour's trip to the Vehicle Assembly Building is posted here.
2145 GMT (4:45 p.m. EST)
The four-point lifting sling has been moved into position to be attached to Endeavour.
1907 GMT (2:07 p.m. EST)
The transporter is rolling to a stop in the center aisle of the VAB. A metal "sling" is poised to capture Endeavour later today, lifting the shuttle from the hauler that carried it from the hangar during the past hour. A heavy-duty crane will rotate the spacecraft vertically, then begin the methodical process of hoisting the ship high into the rafters, over to the assembly bay and carefully lowering Endeavour into position next to the awaiting fuel tank for attachment.
1853 GMT (1:53 p.m. EST)
Endeavour is crossing the threshold into the Vehice Asembly Building here its external fuel tank and twin solid rockets await atop a mobile launching platform for the orbiter's attachment.
1835 GMT (1:35 p.m. EST)
The entire Orbiter Processing Facility team has come outside to pose for a picture with Endeavour.
1820 GMT (1:20 p.m. EST)
Endeavour is completely outside the hangar now.

The Orbiter Transporter System is doing the heavy-duty work during today's move. Originally designed and built for use at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the transporter was brought to Kennedy Space Center in 1989 after the West Coast space shuttle launch site was mothballed.

The transporter is 106 feet in length, weighs 167,000 pounds unloaded and about 327,000 pounds with an orbiter on top and sports 76 wheels. It has a turning radius of 66 feet.

You can envision the OTS as a yellow motorized trailer. At Vandenberg, shuttles were supposed to be prepared for flight in a hangar on the military installation's north side, then ferried aboard the OTS transporter about 17 miles across the hilly terrain to the Space Launch Complex-6 pad on South Base.

In contrast, shuttles in the program's early years at KSC were towed between the hangars and Vehicle Assembly Building with the orbiters' landing gear down.

But with Vandenberg's shuttle plans cancelled after Challenger, the transporter was brought to Florida and pressed into service. It allows NASA to retract a shuttle's landing gear and seal the critical heat-protection tiles around the doors while still in the hangar before rolling out.

The top speed of the transporter while hauling Endeavour to the Vehicle Assembly Building is five miles per hour. The V12 engine generates about 335 horsepower.

1753 GMT (12:53 p.m. EST)
ROLL BEGINS. Endeavour has begun to slowly back out of the hangar, bound for its stopover at the Vehicle Assembly Building in preparation for the next space shuttle voyage to the International Space Station.

This initial part of the move occurs at a snail's pace given the close quarters between Endeavour and the cocoon-like scaffolding inside the hangar that enclosed the ship. Once outside, the motorized transporter will throttle up to a casual walking pace and head for the VAB.

1743 GMT (12:43 p.m. EST)
The transporter just cranked up its engine. The roll should get underway shortly.
1730 GMT (12:30 p.m. EST)
Good afternoon from just outside the Orbiter Processing Facility bay No. 2 where it's moving day for Endeavour. The hangar doors are open, workers and photographers have gathered to watch and soon the space shuttle will emerge.

Mounted atop a 76-wheel transporter, the Endeavour will be backed out of the space-age garage for the short drive into the Vehicle Assembly Building. The trip should take about 45 minutes.

Technicians inside the VAB will hoist the spaceplane upright and attach it to the external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters over the next few days.

Space shuttle Endeavour will head into the Vehicle Assembly Building this afternoon to begin preparing for the first mission of 2010.

The spacecraft is scheduled to leave its hangar around 1 p.m. EST (1800 GMT) for the quarter-mile move to the giant VAB atop a trailer-like transporter. Cranes inside the assembly building will hoist Endeavour vertically and attach the orbiter to the waiting tank and solid rocket boosters in the coming days.

But rollout to launch pad 39A won't happen this year. NASA has opted to keep the fully assembled space shuttle in the VAB through the holidays.

Endeavour is targeted for launch to the International Space Station on February 7 at 4:39 a.m. EST. The two-week construction mission will deliver the Tranquility multi-port connecting module and the seven-windowed Cupola to the outpost.

Endeavour's astronaut crew includes commander George Zamka, pilot Terry Virts and mission specialists Kay Hire, Steve Robinson, Nick Patrick and Bob Behnken.

A final readiness review for today's move of Endeavour is scheduled for 10 a.m. EST to confirm all systems are "go" for the shuttle to leave its hangar -- Orbiter Processing Facility bay No. 2 -- after several months there undergoing post-flight deservicing the summer's STS-127 mission and the turnaround for STS-130.

In just the last few days, ground teams completed closeouts of the forward and aft compartments and wings, disconnection of umbilicals, pressurization the landing gear tires, final weighing and center of gravity determinations and positioned the transporter vehicle beneath the shuttle.

Coverage sponsored by

BoeingLockheed Martin

Join Miles O'Brien, David Waters and Leroy Chiao for our live launch webcast from Kennedy Space Center starting at 12 a.m. EST on launch morning.