Follow this link to skip to                                      the main content

Image Feature

Text Size

Training for Flight
Mission STS-118 astronauts arrive at Kennedy for training Countdown Rehearsal at Kennedy
The STS-118 astronauts arrived at Kennedy Space Center to take part in the terminal countdown demonstration test, a full launch dress rehearsal that typically takes place a few weeks prior to liftoff. Space Shuttle Endeavour Commander Scott Kelly welcomed the media and introduced his crew. From left are Mission Specialists Alvin Drew, Barbara R. Morgan, Dave Williams, Rick Mastracchio, Tracy Caldwell and Pilot Charlie Hobaugh. This launch will be the first for Endeavour in more than four years. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton
+ View Larger Image
M-113 armored personnel carrier training Driving the M-113
Mission Specialist Alvin Drew takes a turn driving an M-113 armored personnel carrier as his passengers, Mission Specialists Barbara R. Morgan and Dave Williams, enjoy the ride. A member of the astronaut rescue team is on board to instruct the crew members in operating the M-113 vehicle. Morgan is a teacher-turned- astronaut whose association with NASA began more than 20 years ago and Williams represents the Canadian Space Agency. Photo Credit: NASA/George Shelton
+ View Larger Image
Commander Scott Kelly in the Shuttle Training Aircraft
In the Cockpit
Commander Scott Kelly climbs into the cockpit of the Shuttle Training Aircraft to prepare for landing practice. The training aircraft is a modified Gulf Stream II jet that was designed to simulate an orbiter's cockpit and landing qualities. Astronauts only get one try to land the shuttle because it lands as a glider. Kelly and Pilot Charlie Hobaugh will continue this training on a weekly basis until launch. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton
+ View Larger Image
The STS-118 crew practice pad egress
Egress Practice
On the 195-ft. level of Pad 39A's fixed service structure, the STS-118 crew members listen intently to an instructor explaining how to use the slidewire basket that is part of the emergency egress system. The system includes seven baskets suspended from slidewires that extend from the fixed service structure to a landing zone, where a braking system and catch-nets slow and then halt the baskets sliding down the wire. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton
+ View Larger Image
Mission Specialist Barbara Morgan gets her flight suit fitted

Suiting Up
Mission Specialist Barbara R. Morgan gets the fit of her launch-and-entry suit checked by a technician as part of the prelaunch preparations. Every astronaut is custom fitted with an orange flight suit and helmet. Each pressurized suit contains an emergency oxygen system, parachute pack, life raft, water, radio/beacon and other survival gear in the unlikely event of an emergency. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton
+ View Larger Image
The Endeavour crew members walk toward the Astrovan

Climb Aboard!
The STS-118 crew members wave to the crowd of Kennedy employees and media as they walk toward NASA's specially designed van. The silver "Astrovan" will take them on a 20-minute trip to Launch Pad 39A for a simulated launch countdown. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton
+ View Larger Image
Pilot Charlie Hobaugh has his flight suit checked in the White Room

Entering the Shuttle
In the White Room on Launch Pad 39A, the closeout crew prepares the launch-and-entry suit for Pilot Charlie Hobaugh before he climbs into the orbiter to participate in a simulated countdown exercise. The White Room is at the outer end of the orbiter access arm that allows personnel to enter the orbiter crew compartment. The arm remains in the extended position until seven minutes, 24 seconds before launch to serve as an emergency escape route for the flight crew if necessary. Photo credit: NASA/Amanda Diller
+ View Larger Image
STS-118 astronauts pose for photo after conclusion of prelaunch testing at Kennedy
At the Top
After the emergency egress training, the STS-118 astronauts gather for a photo on top of the fixed service structure of Launch Pad 39A. They successfully completed the simulated launch countdown and engine cutoff exercise, marking the conclusion of the terminal countdown demonstration test in preparation for mission STS-118. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton
+ View Larger Image
Endeavour's payload bay is checked out by the STS-118 astronauts
Checking the Payload
In the rotating service structure which surrounds the orbiter, the crew members top off their training with a careful look at the payload nestled inside Endeavour's payload bay. This is an important part of their visit to Kennedy, as they familiarize themselves with the cargo and confirm the payload's readiness for flight before returning to Johnson Space Center in Houston to get ready for launch day. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton
+ View Larger Image

Elaine M. Marconi
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center