Mission: Deliver and install components of the Japanese Experiment Module
Space Shuttle: Endeavour
Launch Pad: 39A
Launched: July 15, 2009 at 6:03 p.m. EDT
Landing Site: Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: July 31, 2009 at 10:48 a.m. EDT
Mission Duration: 15 days, 16 hours, 44 minutes, 58 seconds
Inclination/Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles
Miles Traveled: 6.5 million
Mark Polansky, Commander
Doug Hurley, Pilot
Dave Wolf, Mission Specialist
Christopher Cassidy, Mission Specialist
Julie Payette, Mission Specialist
Tom Marshburn, Mission Specialist
Tim Kopra, Mission Specialist
Space shuttle Endeavour and a crew of seven astronauts lifted off from NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39A at 6:03 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 15, 2009.
The on-time liftoff followed several prior launch attempts. The first two tries in June were foiled by a gaseous hydrogen leak from the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate, which attaches a gaseous hydrogen vent line to the shuttle’s external fuel tank. Crews worked tirelessly to investigate and repair the problem, and a successful July 1 tank test cleared the vehicle for flight. But Florida’s notoriously dynamic weather prevented the next few launch attempts.
Finally, after a smooth countdown that saw steadily improving weather, Endeavour and its crew launched on a complex mission to complete assembly of the Japanese Kibo laboratory complex on the International Space Station.
Nearly sixteen days and more than 6.5 million miles later, Endeavour touched down on Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility at 10:48 a.m. EDT on the mission’s first landing opportunity.