All set for Endeavour’s final lift-off
The space craft was earlier suffering from technical glitches and electrical problems which have all been sorted out. The problems kept the shuttle grounded for more than two weeks.
NASA officials said that there are no more technical issues but, they are keeping an eye on the weather. Officials said that the low clouds and high winds may postpone the launch for one more day. Endeavour’s launch is scheduled for 8:56 a.m. Monday.
This will be second last mission of the NASA’s shuttle program and will last for around 16 days. During the mission, Endeavour’s crew will deliver spare parts and will also install a particle detector, Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer which will be used for the detection of dark matter. The particle detector’s cost is $2 billion.
Arizona congresswoman and the wife of Captain Kelly, Gabrielle Giffords has also arrived at the Kennedy space centre on Sunday. She will watch the lift off of the space shuttle privately.
On her Facebook page Ms. Giffords’s representatives wrote, “Smooth flight with STS 134 astronaut Greg Johnson’s family. Thanks to NASA for great fly by of launch pad.”
The time when Ms. Giffords arrived at the space centre, the workers were rotating the service structure to fill the external fuel tank with liquid oxygen and hydrogen.
When the giant grey structured was moved, the second last shuttle of NASA’s fleet become visible. News photographers snapped some images and the crew members with their families arrived on the pad for last minute photo shoot.
On Saturday NASA officials declared the shuttle fit for launch and said that all the problems have been resolved. The electrical short circuit and the hydraulic controls hanged the launch of the space shuttle earlier. But, now all the problems have been solved and the faulty components have been replaced.
The chairman of the mission management team, Michael P. Moses said, “Everything’s in really good shape.” The team has started the countdown of the launch.
As the shuttle program is coming to the concluding stage, it is now attracting more and more attention. President Barak Obama earlier planned to watch the launch. However, the White House has said that the President will not attend the launch on Monday.
The shuttle launch has attracted a large number of people according to NASA officials, about half a million people are expected to watch the launch from nearby areas.