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    Launch Preparations in High Gear for Crew, Workers

    Space shuttle Endeavour on the launch pad.
    Image above: Space shuttle Endeavour stands poised for space soon after being moved to Launch pad 39A for the launch of STS-126. Photo credit: NASA/Troy Cryder
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    Oct. 31, 2008
    With two weeks to go before launch, the astronauts of space shuttle Endeavour are keeping up a thorough training schedule for the 15-day mission.

    They are practicing for maneuvering the mobile base system on the International Space Station, which is the rail cart on the outside of the orbiting laboratory that moves the station’s robotic arm.

    The astronauts, dressed in training versions of their pressure suits, are also practicing procedures to use when they reach orbit.

    The busy flight to the station includes four spacewalks and the transfer and set-up of more than seven tons of equipment and supplies inside the orbiting laboratory.

    To make sure the work is performed flawlessly, the astronauts have rehearsed almost every step on the ground. They have performed the four spacewalks repeatedly, simulated the launch in all conditions, and practiced joining the shuttle to the station in orbit.

    Endeavour’s main payload is a space-age moving van called Leonardo that is stuffed with new crew quarters and the other equipment needed to enlarge the station’s resident crew to six members. The equipment includes a filtering system designed to filter wastewater to make it potable.

    While the astronauts train at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, technicians at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida continue a steady pace of preparations on Endeavour.

    Endeavour is scheduled to launch Nov. 14 at 7:55 p.m. EST to begin its STS-126 mission.

    Additional Resources
    › STS-126 Mission Summary (475 kb PDF)
    › About the Crew
    › Shuttle Launch Manifest

Shuttle Features

Endeavour Rolls Around

Endeavour is moved to Pad A

The STS-126 mission moved into high gear as Endeavour transferred to Pad A.

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Crew Expansion Prep, SARJ Repair Focus of STS-126

STS-126 mission patch

For years, STS-126 has been planned as the mission that will give the International Space Station the ability to support twice the crew currently living there.

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STS-126 Countdown

    Endeavour Launches In:


Launch and Landing Coverage

Mission Extras

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