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  Mission Updates :: February Week 3

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Read how the mission unfolds week by week, day by day,
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Kennedy Space Center
Vehicle: Columbia/OV-102
Shuttle & Payload Processing Status Report

Close-up of ColumbiaFriday | Feb. 22, 2002

Final pre-launch processing for Shuttle Columbia continues on schedule at Complex 39 Pad A .

The Hubble payload Interface Verification Test is complete and the End-To-End Test is in progress. Work over the weekend includes completing aft closeouts prior to picking up the final countdown at the T-43 hour mark at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 25. CLICK HERE FOR MORE IMAGES...

The seven STS-109 crewmembers are scheduled to land at KSC at 1 a.m. Monday, and shortly after their arrival they will spend about two hours at the launch pad participating in final Hubble payload configuration familiarization operations in preparation for the five spacewalks that will be conducted during the STS-109 servicing mission.

The payload doors will be closed later in the day. The status of the Auxiliary Power Unit hydraulic pump bolts is still under evaluation.

Final countdown milestones include:

Launch Day T-3 (Monday, Feb. 25)
   Initiate final countdown at T-43 hour mark

Launch Day T-2 (Tuesday, Feb. 26)
   Load fuel cell cryogenic propellants

Launch Day T-1 (Wednesday, Feb. 27)
   Move Rotating Service Structure (RSS) to park position.
   External Tank cryogenic propellant loading

Launch Day (Thursday, Feb. 28)
   Astronauts depart crew quarters (3:04 a.m.)
   Crew ingress (about 3:34 a.m.)
   Hatch closure (about 4:48 a.m.)
   Liftoff (6:48 a.m.)


Columbia at PadTuesday | Feb. 19, 2002
Pre-launch operations for Shuttle Columbia remain on schedule for the planned liftoff at 6:48 a.m. EST on Thursday, Feb. 28.

Preparations are underway for the next major milestone, space vehicle ordnance installation, which will continue through Wednesday night. The issue concerning the status of the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) hydraulic pump bolts is still being evaluated.

At the launch pad, the complement of HST flight hardware was installed into Columbia's payload bay on Feb. 18. Electrical connections with the orbiter are now being established. An interface verification test to verify those connections is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 21. An end-to-end test is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 22. CLICK HERE FOR MORE IMAGES...

This test will occur between the flight hardware in Columbia's payload bay at KSC, the Space Telescope Operations Control Center at the Goddard Space Flight Center, and Mission Control in Houston.

This will verify the ability of controllers on the ground to monitor the status of the flight hardware in the payload bay while Columbia is on-orbit. Payload closeouts are scheduled to begin next weekend.

The STS-109 flight crew will arrive at KSC early Monday, Feb. 25. An inspection of the HST flight hardware by the astronauts is planned and will be followed afterward by closure of the payload bay doors for flight.

The final countdown will begin at 10 a.m. Monday.


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