Status Report

Space Shuttle Processing Status 27 Feb 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
February 27, 2002
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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 countdown for Shuttle Columbia is on schedule today preparing for the liftoff of the STS-109 Hubble servicing mission at 6:48 a.m. Thursday. Fuel cell servicing and main engine performance checks are complete, and the Rotating Service Structure was moved to the parked position at 1:00 p.m. The astronaut support team will enter the crew compartment at 2 p.m. to verify onboard switch settings. The fuel cells will be activated at 4 p.m. and cryogenic loading of the External Tank is scheduled to start at 9:58 p.m. The Mission Management Team will conduct a pre-tanking meeting to assess final status at 9 p.m., placing special emphasis on the latest weather forecast and a report on the flight readiness of the landing gear bearings.

The seven-member STS-109 astronaut crew was awakened at 9 p.m. last night and spent their L-1 day reviewing flight plans and attending briefings on the latest status of weather conditions and orbiter payload systems. Commander Scott Altman and Pilot Duane Carey went to the Shuttle Landing Facility at 5:30 a.m. and were airborne for two hours perfecting Shuttle landing techniques aboard two T-38s. The crew is scheduled to start their sleep period at 1 p.m. with a wakeup call at 9 p.m. tonight. They will depart the crew quarters for the launch pad at 3:04 a.m. Thursday at the T-2 hour 55-minute mark in the countdown.

Cold weather is forecast for launch time with a temperature of 38 degrees F at the pad. Winds will be from the northwest at 7-10 knots with a relative humidity of 73 percent.

Air Force forecasters said there is a 40 percent probability of weather prohibiting the launch. The seas in the Solid Rocket Booster recovery area will be rough, with swells of eight to 10 feet, northwest winds 18 to 22 knots and an ocean temperature of 72 degrees F.

*all times are Eastern

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
* á
* Resume countdown at T-3 hours (2:58 a.m.)
* Crew departs Operations and Checkout Building for the pad (3:04 a.m.)
* 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 system
* 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
* á
* 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.