Headlines > News > LIVE COVERAGE: Space Shuttle STS-123 Launch (updated 7:06 GMT)

LIVE COVERAGE: Space Shuttle STS-123 Launch (updated 7:06 GMT)

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:29 am
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7:06 GMT (3:06 am EDT): The first burn of the Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS) brought Endeavour into a 225 x 153 km orbit.

6:41 GMT (2:41 am EDT): The Shuttle will fire its Orbital Maneuvering System several times over the next hours to circularize the orbit and rendezvous with the International Space Station.

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6:36 GMT (2:36 am EDT): Main Engine Cut-Off or MECO. The Shuttle used all the fuel in the External Tank and shut down its three main engines. The main tank is jettisoned and photographed to check for missing foam.

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6:30 GMT (2:30 am EDT): Jettison of the solid rocket boosters. The Shuttle reached 48 kilometers altitude.

6:29 GMT (2:29 am EDT): The Shuttle reached Max-Q, the maximum dynamic pressure in about 10 kilometers altitude. The main engines are therefore throttled back to 75%.

6:28 GMT (2:28 am EDT): We have lift-off of Shuttle Endeavour for mission STS-123 to the International Space Station.

6:27 GMT (2:27 am EDT): One minute until launch. Power is switched to internal. The main engines will fire at T-6.6 seconds. After nominal operation is confirmed the two solid rocket boosters are ignited.

6:26 GMT (2:26 am EDT): T-2 and counting. The crew closed their helmets.

6:25 GMT (2:25 am EDT): The fuel tap-off arm is being retracted.

6:23 GMT (2:23 am EDT): T-5 and counting. Auxiliary power units are started and all looks good for launch. The range safety devices are armed.

6:21 GMT (2:21 am EDT): The orbiter access arm is being retracted.

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6:19 GMT (2:19 am EDT): T-9 and counting. The Shuttle entered the final phase before launch. The control is given to the automatic ground launch sequencer for the launch at 6:28 GMT.

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6:15 GMT (2:15 am EDT): All systems are go for launch. 4 minutes remaining in the hold. The weather is good for launch.

5:35 GMT (1:35 am EDT): T-9 and holding. We reached the final hold. This hold gives the Launch Director the chance to get the go/no-go decisions of the launch team and to target the launch for the available launch window.

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5:24 GMT (1:24 am EDT): T-20 and counting. The Shuttle’s computers are switched to flight configuration. The cabin is being pressurized.

5:13 GMT (1:13 am EDT): T-20 and holding. This build-in hold enables the Shuttle Test Director for final briefings. The final preflight data is submitted to the crew and the Shuttle’s main computers.

4:52 GMT (12:52 am EDT): Leak checks have been successfully performed. All Transatlantic Abort Landing (TAL) sites are available. The primary TAL site is Zaragossa, Spain.

4:19 GMT (12:19 am EDT): Endeavour’s access hatch is now closed.

4:08 GMT (12:08 am EDT): While the crew is doing various tasks like comm checks, the launch pad closeout crew now leaves the Shuttle and prepares for hatch closure.

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3:46 GMT (11:46 pm EDT): The crew is now seated in the Shuttle.

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2:57 GMT (10:57 pm EDT): The crew of the Endeavour arrived at the launch pad and prepares to enter the Shuttle.
The weather situation currently looks good for the launch today. It’s a bit cloudy but the wind is calm.

2:33 GMT (10:33 pm EDT): The clock is counting at T-3 hours. The crew is dressed and will drive to the launch pad shortly. The weather currently looks good for launch.

1:27 GMT (9:27 pm EDT): T-3 hours and holding. The countdown is currently in a built-in hold so that any tasks can be done that fell behind schedule. At the moment there are no technical issues against launch. The countdown will be resumed in a bit over an hour.

20:02 GMT (4:02 pm EDT): The External Tank is being fueled with liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. The tank supplies the Shuttle’s three main engines during its ascent.

19:24 GMT (3:24 pm EDT): The fuel cells of the Shuttle are activated and all not necessary people will leave the launch pad area.

March 10, 2008: The Space Shuttle Endeavour stands ready for launch tomorrow on Pad 39A. We will provide you with live coverage of all upcoming events. The launch is planned for March 11, 6:28 GMT (2:28 am EDT).

Space shuttle Endeavour’s upcoming STS-123 mission will carry two new components to the International Space Station: the first section of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kibo laboratory and the Canadian Space Agency’s two-armed robotic system, known as Dextre.

The Japanese Experiment Logistics Module-Pressurized Section, or ELM-PS, will hold experiment samples, maintenance tools and other spare items. Dextre can be attached to the station’s robotic arm to handle smaller components typically requiring a spacewalking astronaut.

At the tip of each arm is a “hand” that consists of retractable jaws used to grip objects. Endeavour’s 16-day flight is the longest shuttle mission to the station and will include five spacewalks. The shuttle also will deliver a new crew member and bring back another one after a seven-week mission.

The flight is commanded by Dominic Gorie with Gregory H. Johnson serving as Pilot. The crew also includes Mission Specialists Rick Linnehan, Robert L. Behnken, Mike Foreman, Garret Reisman and Japanese astronaut Takao Doi. Reisman will replace current station crew member Leopold Eyharts, who has lived on the outpost since STS-122.

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