AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch AsiaSat-6 on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFB, FL
scheduled for:
27 Aug 14 4:50:00 GMT
27 Aug 14 0:50:00 EDT

Days
Hrs
Min
Sec
Click here for more details...

Enter your email address to subscribe to AmericaSpace and receive notifications of new posts by email.

PHOTO FEATURE: Endeavour Ready For Historic Final Flight Next Monday

Endeavour, raised roughly 60-feet in the air, ready to be mated to NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft Friday afternoon.  Photo Credit:  Mike Killian / Zero-G News and AmericaSpace

Endeavour, raised roughly 60-feet in the air, ready to be mated to NASA’s 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft Friday afternoon. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / Zero-G News and AmericaSpace

NASA’s youngest space shuttle orbiter, Endeavour, was rolled out one last time from Kennedy Space Center’s Vehicle Assembly Building early Friday morning, beginning the orbiter’s long voyage to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.  Endeavour began its trek to the shuttle landing facility under cover of darkness, arriving for a date with NASA’s 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft just as the sun began to rise around 7:00 a.m. EDT.

Using a tow vehicle, workers parked Endeavour in the mate-demate device (MDM) and carefully connected a giant sling to the 170,000 pound orbiter.  Endeavour was then raised a few feet off the ground, allowing crews to manually close and lock Endeavour’s landing gear for her upcoming flight.

With the threat of showers and storms looming on the horizon workers wasted no time with the lift operations, raising the orbiter to sixty-feet above the ground in a matter of minutes before parking the 747 underneath it.  Once again demonstrating their unique skills, crews carefully lowered Endeavour to within an arm’s reach of the shuttle carrier aircraft and began the task of attaching the orbiter, what NASA calls a ‘soft mate’.  Workers will continue to secure the two vehicles firmly together, ‘hard-mating’ the SCA/shuttle vehicle on Saturday to accept the aerodynamic forces they will encounter during next week’s 3-day cross-country flight across the southern U.S.

Endeavour being attached to the SCA this afternoon.  Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth and AmericaSpace

Endeavour being attached to the SCA this afternoon. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth and AmericaSpace

NASA plans on backing the SCA out on the shuttle landing facility tarmac Sunday morning to allow workers, media, and members of the public visiting Kennedy Space Center a chance to say goodbye to Endeavour up close and personal.

Weather permitting, Endeavour will take to the skies on her final flight shortly after 7:00 a.m. EDT Monday morning, conducting a low flyover up and down Florida’s Space Coast and giving residents a final chance to say goodbye to the orbiter they watched launched on 25 missions over nearly 20 years.  Endeavour will then head west towards California, making numerous low-flyovers and stops along the way.

- Click HERE to read about Endeavour’s planned flight to California and the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft making it happen.

 

 - All Photos Credit:  Mike Killian and Julian Leek

Endeavour beginning her trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the Shuttle Landing Facility early Friday morning.  Photo Credit: Mike Killian / Zero-G News and AmericaSpace

Endeavour beginning her trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the Shuttle Landing Facility early Friday morning. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / Zero-G News and AmericaSpace

Endeavour arrives at the mate-demate device (MDM) just as the sun began to rise.  Photo Credit: Mike Killian / Zero-G News and AmericaSpace

Endeavour arrives at the mate-demate device (MDM) just as the sun began to rise. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / Zero-G News and AmericaSpace

Crews attach the giant sling used to raise the 170,000 pound Endeavour 60-feet high.  Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth and AmericaSpace

Crews attach the giant sling used to raise the 170,000 pound Endeavour 60-feet high. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth and AmericaSpace

Crews lift Endeavour nose in preparation for closing and locking the landing gear.  Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth and AmericaSpace

Crews lift Endeavour nose in preparation for closing and locking the landing gear. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth and AmericaSpace

Local showers and frequent breaks in the clouds allowed sunlight to cast a rainbow over the shuttle landing facility and NASA's 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft.  Photo Credit: Mike Killian / Zero-G News and AmericaSpace

Local showers and frequent breaks in the clouds allowed sunlight to cast a rainbow over the shuttle landing facility and NASA’s 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / Zero-G News and AmericaSpace

Preparing to close and lock the nose gear for Endeavour's flight.  Photo Credit: Mike Killian / Zero-G News and AmericaSpace

Preparing to close and lock the nose gear for Endeavour’s flight. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / Zero-G News and AmericaSpace

NASA 905 placed into position underneath Endeavour.  Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth and AmericaSpace

NASA 905 placed into position underneath Endeavour. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth and AmericaSpace

 

Endeavour being lowered for mating to the 747.  Photo Credit: Mike Killian / Zero-G News and AmericaSpace

Endeavour being lowered for mating to the 747. Photo Credit: Mike Killian / Zero-G News and AmericaSpace

Aft view of the Endeavour / SCA pair.  Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth and AmericaSpace

Aft view of the Endeavour / SCA pair. Photo Credit: Julian Leek / Blue Sawtooth and AmericaSpace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments are closed.