Sunday, April 3, 2011
Technicians and engineers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, will begin detailed inspections of space shuttle Endeavour and its external fuel tank. They’ll look for any possible damage from severe storms that hit Kennedy on Wednesday and Thursday. Teams began an initial survey of the launch pad Friday, but weren’t able to do a thorough inspection because the pad was being used for a full launch dress rehearsal for Endeavour’s STS-134 mission called the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT). Endeavour’s six astronauts successfully completed the simulated launch countdown and related safety training Friday afternoon and returned home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Friday’s initial pad inspection did not find anything obvious, other than the previously identified minor foam insulation damage on Endeavour’s external tank that was caused by a strong storm on Wednesday. Teams will install platforms Saturday morning that will allow for close up surveys, which will provide data to engineering reviews to confirm there are no other issues. Endeavour is targeted to launch to the International Space Station on April 19 at 7:48 p.m. EDT.