Status Report

Space Shuttle Processing Status 28 Feb 2002

By SpaceRef Editor
February 28, 2002
Filed under , ,

MISSION: STS-109 – HST Servicing Mission 3B

VEHICLE: Columbia/OV-102

TARGET KSC LAUNCH DATE: March 1, 2002 at 6:22 a.m.

TARGET KSC LANDING DATE: March 12, 2002 at 4:35 a.m.


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

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

Shuttle Processing Note: Following yesterday’s postponement, the countdown
for the launch of Columbia on the STS-109 mission was recycled to the T-11
mark and holding. The countdown will resume at 2:32 p.m. today aiming for a
planned liftoff of 6:22 a.m. Friday, March 1. The Rotating Service Structure
move to the parked position was completed at 11:30 a.m. The start of
External Tank propellant loading is scheduled for 9:32 p.m. Final mission
status will be evaluated by the Shuttle Management Team at tonight’s 8:30
p.m. tanking meeting. A Shuttle engineering team has completed an extensive
evaluation of the landing gear bearing issue and has determined there are no
technical constraints that will impact the STS-109 landing. Their report
will be presented to the Mission Management Team tonight for final

The STS-109 astronauts’ circadian work schedule has been adjusted to meet
the new launch time. They were awakened last night at about 8:30 p.m. and
spent the day visiting with families, reviewing flight plans and receiving
updates on the weather forecast and countdown progress. They will be
awakened about 8:30 p.m. tonight and will depart their crew quarters for the
launch pad at 2:38 a.m. tomorrow.

A more optimistic weather forecast was issued for launch time with a
temperature at 55 degrees F, winds from the northeast at 14 to 20 knots and
a relative humidity of 86 percent. Probability of conditions prohibiting
launch is 30 percent because of the possibility of low cloud ceilings. Winds
at the shuttle Landing Facility will be from the northeast at eight to 13
knots. The weather at sea also has improved with a prediction of a sea state
of three to four feet, east-northeast winds 15 to 18 knots and a water
temperature of 72 degrees F in the Solid Rocket Booster recovery area.

*all times are Eastern

Launch Day (Friday, March 1)

Complete filling the external tank with its flight load of liquid hydrogen
and liquid oxygen propellants (about 12:32 a.m.)
Final Inspection Team proceed to launch pad

Enter planned 2-hour built-in hold at T-3 hours (12:32 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 (2:32 a.m.)

Crew departs Operations and Checkout Building for the pad (2:38 a.m.)
Complete close-out preparations in the white room
Check cockpit switch configurations
Flight crew begins entry into the orbiter (about 3:08 a.m.)
Astronauts perform air-to-ground voice checks with Launch and Mission
Close Columbia’s crew hatch (about 4:22 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 (5:12 a.m.)

NASA Test Director conducts final launch team briefings
Complete inertial measurement unit preflight alignments

Resume countdown at T-20 minutes (5:22 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 (5:33 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 6:13 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


Thursday, Feb. 28
8:34 p.m. Crew wake up
9:49 p.m. Breakfast

Friday, March 1
*12:34 a.m. Snack and photo opportunity
1:58 a.m. Weather Briefing (CDR, PLT, MS2)
*1:58 a.m. Don flight suits (MS1, MS3, MS4, MS5)
*2:08 a.m. Don flight suits (CDR, PLT, MS2)
*2:38 a.m. Depart for launch pad
*3:08 a.m. Arrive at white room and begin ingress
*4:22 a.m. Close crew hatch
*6:22 a.m. Launch

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

SpaceRef staff editor.