Space Shuttle Mission to Complete JAXA’s Kibo laboratory – Wakata to Come Home

Shuttle Endeavour (NASA)
Shuttle Endeavour (NASA)

The 16-day mission will feature five spacewalks and complete construction of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kibo laboratory. Astronauts will attach a platform to the outside of the Japanese module that will allow experiments to be exposed to space.

The STS-127 crew members are Commander Mark Polansky, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Dave Wolf, Christopher Cassidy, Tom Marshburn, Tim Kopra and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Julie Payette. Kopra will join the space station crew and replace Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata. Wakata will return to Earth on Endeavour to conclude a three-month stay at the station.

As of now, the Launch Team is cautiously optimistic that weather is clearing and teams will be able to begin tanking. Tanking was scheduled to begin at approximately 8:15 p.m. EDT, but is being delayed due to weather conditions. There is currently a 40 percent chance of weather prohibiting tanking as a result of anvil clouds and lightning in the area. For tanking, lightning cannot be within 5 miles of the launch pad.

The team still is in a posture to make the 5:40 a.m. launch attempt tomorrow morning.

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