March 01, 2008
Next up: night launch of STS-123
The Japanese logistics module and Canada's Dextre robotic arm are ready to launch inside Endeavor's payload bay on Tuesday March 11, 2008 in a spectacular night launch, scheduled for 2:28 a.m. EST.
Japan's Takao Doi, who flew in 1997, will accompany his nation's hardware to orbit as one of the all-male crew. Led by Commander Dominic Gorie (U.S. Navy Capt.), the crew of seven has trained for the longest shuttle mission to the station yet: lasting 16 days and including 5 spacewalks.
U.S. Air Force Col. Gregory Johnson will serve as shuttle pilot. Besides Doi, mission specialists include Richard Linnehan, Air Force Maj. Robert Behnken, and Navy Capt. Michael Foreman.
The primary goal of the mission is to deliver the logistics module which holds the supporting equipment for the Japanese Kibo (Hope) module. That flight was delayed from April 24 to May 25 because of the fuel gauge problem that postponed the last launch.
NASA managers determined that the debris from the shooting down of a spy satellite on February 20 has only increased the risk of damage to the shuttle from 1 in 269 to 1 in 259.
To the stars,
Assignments Editor, Ad Astra magazine
Posted by m_dyson at March 1, 2008 01:07 PM