Status Report

Space Shuttle Processing Status 25 Feb 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
February 25, 2002
Filed under , ,

MISSION: STS-109 – HST Servicing Mission 3B

VEHICLE: Columbia/OV-102

TARGET KSC LAUNCH DATE: Feb. 28, 2002 at 6:48 a.m.

TARGET KSC LANDING DATE: March 11, 2002 at 5:01 a.m.


CREW: Altman, Carey, Grunsfeld, Currie, Newman, Linnehan, Massimino

ORBITAL INSERTION ALTITUDE and INCLINATION: 308 nautical miles/28.5 degrees

Shuttle Processing Note: The final countdown for Shuttle Columbia on the
STS-109 mission picked up on schedule at the T-43 hour mark at 10 a.m. this
morning, aiming toward a planned liftoff at 6:48 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28.
Today’s activities include final vehicle and facility closeouts, verifying
backup flight systems for the onboard general- purpose computers and
activating and testing the navigational systems. The seven STS-109
crewmembers arrived at KSC at 1 a.m. this morning and spent about two hours
at the Pad A performing a final inspection of the Hubble payload they will
deploy on orbit during five spacewalks. The payload bay doors will be closed
for launch later tonight. Evaluation of the status of the Auxiliary Power
Unit hydraulic pump bolts will be completed today and addressed at
tomorrow’s L-2 Mission Management Team meeting.

The forecast for Thursday predicts a 30 percent probability of weather
prohibiting launch, with scattered clouds at 3,000 feet, a temperature of 40
degrees F and surface winds from the northwest at 5 to 10 knots. The
forecast for the Solid Rocket Booster recovery area calls for a sea state of
eight to 10 feet, northwest winds 18-22 knots and an ocean temperature of 72
degrees F.

*all times are Eastern

Launch-2 Days (Tuesday, Feb. 26)

* Complete preparation to load power reactant storage and distribution
system (1 a.m.)
* Flight deck preliminary inspections complete (2 a.m.)
* Enter first built-in hold at T-27 hours for duration of 4 hours (2
* Clear launch pad of all non-essential personnel
* Perform test of the vehicle’s pyrotechnic initiator controllers (3
* Resume countdown (6 a.m.)
* Begin operations to load cryogenic reactants into Columbia’s fuel
cell storage tanks
* (6 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
* Enter 4-hour built-in hold at T-19 hours (2 p.m.)
* Begin filling pad sound suppression system water tank (2 p.m.)
* Demate orbiter mid-body umbilical unit (2:30 p.m.)
* Resume orbiter and ground support equipment close-outs
* Resume countdown (6 p.m.)
* Final preparations of the Shuttle’s three main engines for main
propellant tanking and flight (6 p.m.)
* Pad sound suppression system water tank filling complete (7 p.m.)
* Close out the tail service masts on the mobile launcher platform
* Launch-1 Day (Wednesday, Feb. 27)
* Enter planned hold at T-11 hours for 12 hours, 58 minutes (2 a.m.)
* Begin star tracker functional checks (3 a.m.)
* Activate orbiter’s inertial measurement units
* Activate the orbiter’s communications systems
* Install film in numerous cameras on the launch pad (4:50 a.m.)
* Flight crew equipment late stow (7:20 a.m.)
* Move Rotating Service Structure (RSS) to the park position (11 a.m.)
* Perform ascent switch list
* Fuel cell flow-through purge complete
* Resume countdown at T-11 hours (2:58 p.m.)
* Activate the orbiter’s fuel cells (4:08 p.m.)
* Clear the blast danger area of all non-essential personnel
* Switch Columbia’s purge air to gaseous nitrogen (4:43 p.m.)
* Enter planned 2-hour built-in hold at the T-6 hour mark (7:58 p.m.)
* Launch team verifies no violations of launch commit criteria prior
to cryogenic loading of the external tank
* Clear pad of all personnel
* Resume countdown (9:58 p.m.)
* Chilldown of propellant transfer lines (9:28 p.m.)
* Begin loading the external tank with about 500,000 gallons of
cryogenic propellants (about 9:58 p.m.)
* Launch Day (Thursday, Feb. 28)
* Complete filling the external tank with its flight load of liquid
hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants (about 12:58 a.m.)
* Final Inspection Team proceed to launch pad
* Enter planned 2-hour built-in hold at T-3 hours (12:58 a.m.)
* Perform inertial measurement unit preflight calibration
* Align Merritt Island Launch Area (MILA) tracking antennas
* Perform open loop test with Eastern Range
* Resume countdown at T-3 hours (2:58 a.m.)
* Crew departs Operations and Checkout Building for the pad (3:04
* Complete close-out preparations in the white room
* Check cockpit switch configurations
* Flight crew begins entry into the orbiter (about 3:34 a.m.)
* Astronauts perform air-to-ground voice checks with Launch and
Mission Control
* Close Columbia’s crew hatch (about 4:48 a.m.)
* Begin Eastern Range final network open loop command checks
* Perform hatch seal and cabin leak checks
* Complete white room close-out
* Close-out crew moves to fallback area
* Primary ascent guidance data is transferred to the backup flight
* Enter planned 10-minute hold at T-20 minutes (5:38 a.m.)
* NASA Test Director conducts final launch team briefings
* Complete inertial measurement unit preflight alignments
* Resume countdown at T-20 minutes (5:48 a.m.)
* Transition the orbiter’s onboard computers to launch configuration
* Start fuel cell thermal conditioning
* Close orbiter cabin vent valves
* Transition backup flight system to launch configuration
* Enter estimated 40-minute hold at T-9 minutes (5:59 a.m.)
* Launch Director, Mission Management Team and NASA Test Director
conduct final polls for go/no go to launch
* Resume countdown at T-9 minutes (about 6:39 a.m.)
* Start automatic ground launch sequencer (T-9:00 minutes)
* Retract orbiter crew access arm (T-7:30)
* Start mission recorders (T-6:15)
* Start Auxiliary Power Units (T-5:00)
* Arm SRB and ET range safety safe and arm devices (T-5:00)
* Start liquid oxygen drainback (T-4:55)
* Start orbiter aerosurface profile test (T-3:55)
* Start main engine gimbal profile test (T-3:30)
* Pressurize liquid oxygen tank (T-2:55)
* Begin retraction of the gaseous oxygen vent arm (T-2:55)
* Fuel cells to internal reactants (T-2:35)
* Pressurize liquid hydrogen tank (T-1:57)
* Deactivate SRB joint heaters (T-1:00)
* Orbiter transfers from ground to internal power (T-0:50 seconds)
* Ground Launch Sequencer go for auto sequence start (T-0:31 seconds)
* SRB gimbal profile (T-0:21 seconds)
* Ignition of three Space Shuttle main engines (T-6.6 seconds)
* SRB ignition and liftoff (T-0)

Commander (CDR): Scott D. Altman
Pilot (PLT): Duane G. Carey
Payload Commander (MS1): John M. Grunsfeld
Mission Specialist (MS2): Nancy Jane Currie
Mission Specialist (MS3): Richard M. Linnehan
Mission Specialist (MS4): James H. Newman
Mission Specialist (MS5): Michael J. Massimino


Wednesday, Feb. 27
9 p.m. Crew wake up
10:15 p.m. Breakfast

Thursday, Feb. 28
*1:00 a.m. Snack and photo opportunity
2:24 a.m. Weather Briefing (CDR, PLT, MS2)
*2:24 a.m. Don flight suits (MS1, MS3, MS4, MS5)
*2:34 a.m. Don flight suits (CDR, PLT, MS2)
*3:04 a.m. Depart for launch pad
*3:34 a.m. Arrive at white room and begin ingress
*4:48 a.m. Close crew hatch
*6:48 a.m. Launch

* Televised events (times may vary slightly)
All times Eastern

SpaceRef staff editor.