STS-128 Shuttle Update
August 26, 2009 9:35 pm
Space Shuttle Status Update for August 26, 2009
By Mark Kirkman

EDITOR'S NOTE: Shuttle manageres will delay the launch of Discovery at least another 24 hours to allow the team more time to examine valve test data and develope Go/No-Go Criteria for the next attempt.  The countdown will enter an extended hold at T-6 hours. 

Orbiter: OV-103 (Discovery)
Mission: STS-128
Current Location: Pad 39A
Launch Date: August 28, 2009
Launch Window: ~ 10 minutes
Launch Window Open: ~ 12:17:05 am EDT
Launch Time (Preferred):~ 12:22:05 am EDT
Launch Window Close: ~12:30:17 am EDT (for FD4 Rendezvous)
Crew:  Commander Rick “CJ” Sturckow, Pilot Kevin Ford, Mission Specialists Jose Hernandez, John “Danny” Olivas, Christer Fuglesang, Patrick Forrester, and Space Station Flight Engineer Nicole Stott
Payload: ISS-17A Launch Package (MPLM, LMC)
External Tank: ET-132
Booster Set: BI-139/RSRM-107
Launch Platform: MLP-2
Launch Pad: Pad 39A
Mission Duration: ~ 13 Days
Landing Date/Time: September 6, 2009
 
 
STATUS SUMMARY:
 
Following yesterday’s launch scrub for an improper Liquid Hydrogen Inboard Fill & Drain Valve position indication, the launch team drained, vented and inerted the external fuel tank. Those safing operations were completed this afternoon and testing of the valve began at 6:28 pm EDT. The valve was cycled 5 times under ambient conditions and the valve closed as commanded each time.
 
As of this update the launch countdown is expected to come out of the T-11 hour hold at 8:57 am EDT and the Mission Management Team will meet at 12:00 pm to discuss test results and ensure flight rationale exists to fly as is. A tanking weather briefing is planned for 2:15 pm EDT with fueling expected to start around 2:57 pm.
 
Weather officers currently predict a 70% chance of favorable conditions for launch and an 80% chance of good conditions for the start of tanking.
 
 
WEATHER SUMMARY:
 
Clouds:            Cumulus scattered at 3,000 feet, Altostratus scattered at 15,000, Cirrus scattered at 25,000 feet
Visibility:        7 miles
Winds:             080 at 8 knots
Temp:              79 F
Humidity:        91%
Dewpoint:       76 F
Concerns:        Anvils within 10 nautical miles of the launch pad
                        Thunderstorms with 20 nautical miles of the shuttle runway
 
 
STS-128 SHUTTLE LAUNCH COUNTDOWN MILESTONES:
(All times are Eastern)
 
(Partially modified/updated version of NASA PAO release)
 
Launch-1 Day (Thursday, Aug. 27)

Resume countdown at T-11 hours (8:57 a.m.)

Fuel cell flow-through purge complete
Activate the orbiter's fuel cells (10:07 a.m.)
Switch Discovery’s purge air to gaseous nitrogen (10:07 a.m.)
Clear the blast danger area of all nonessential personnel

Enter planned 1-hour built-in hold at the T-6 hour mark (1:57 p.m.)

Launch team verifies no violations of launch commit criteria prior to cryogenic loading of the external tank
Clear pad of all personnel

Resume countdown (2:57 p.m.)

Chill down propellant transfer lines (2:57 p.m.)
Begin loading the external fuel tank with about 500,000 gallons of cryogenic propellants (about 3:07 p.m.)

Enter planned 2-hour, 30-minute built-in hold at T-3 hours (5:57 p.m.)

Complete filling the external tank with its flight load of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants (about 5:57 p.m.)
Final Inspection Team proceeds to launch pad
Perform inertial measurement unit preflight calibration
Align Merritt Island Launch Area tracking antennas

Resume countdown at T-3 hours (8:27 p.m.)

Perform open loop test with Eastern Range
Crew departs Operations and Checkout Building for the pad (8:32 p.m.)
Complete closeout preparations in the White Room
Check cockpit switch configurations
Begin Eastern Range final network open loop command checks
Flight crew begins entry into the orbiter (9:02 p.m.)
Astronauts perform air-to-ground voice checks with Launch and Mission Control
Begin to close Discovery’s crew hatch (10:07 p.m.)
Perform hatch seal and cabin leak checks
Complete White Room closeout
Closeout 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 (11:07 p.m.)

NASA test director conducts final launch team briefings

Resume countdown at T-20 minutes (11:17 p.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 45-minute hold at T-9 minutes (11:28 p.m.)

Launch director, Mission Management Team and NASA test director conduct final polls for "go/no go" to launch

Launch Day (Friday, Aug. 28)

Resume countdown at T-9 minutes (12:13 a.m.)

Start automatic ground launch sequencer (T-9 minutes)
Retract orbiter crew access arm (T-7:30)
Start APU recorders (T-6:15)
Start auxiliary power units (T-5)
Terminate liquid oxygen replenish (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 retracting the gaseous oxygen vent arm (T-2:50)
Fuel cells to internal reactants (T-2:35)
Pressurize liquid hydrogen tank (T-1:57)
Deactivate bi-pod heaters (T-1:52)
Deactivate solid rocket booster joint heaters (T-0:50 seconds)
Orbiter transfers from ground to internal power (T-0:50 seconds)
Ground launch sequencer go for auto sequence start (T-0:31 seconds)
Booster gimbal profile (T-0:21 seconds)
Ignition of three space shuttle main engines (T-6.6 seconds)
Booster ignition and liftoff (T-0)

Preferred launch time: 12:22:05 a.m.
 
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