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Follow space shuttle Endeavour's STS-127 mission to finish assembly of the International Space Station's Japanese segment. Reload this page for the latest updates.

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Despite cloudy and raining weather that would have scrubbed a real space shuttle launch attempt, Endeavour's seven astronauts climbed aboard their spacecraft at pad 39A for a practice countdown this morning.

The Astrovan delivered the astronauts to the seaside pad around 8 a.m. EDT to begin entering the orbiter and taking their assigned seats just like the actual countdown next weekend.

Clocks ticked down to the final seconds before ending with a mock abort just after 11 a.m. EDT.

The Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test wrapped up with the suited astronauts exiting the shuttle to rehearse emergency evacuation procedures.

The crew of commander Mark Polansky, pilot Doug Hurley, mission specialists Chris Cassidy, Tom Marshburn, Dave Wolf, Julie Payette of Canada and station-bound astronaut Tim Kopra, will fly back to Houston later today to finish final training there and then go into pre-flight quarantine.

The astronauts' return to the Cape is expected early Tuesday in preparation for the real countdown starting on Wednesday.

Liftoff is targeted for next Saturday at 7:17 a.m. EDT.

While the shuttle Endeavour's crew reviewed emergency procedures at the launch pad Wednesday, NASA managers held an executive-level flight readiness review and cleared the ship for blastoff June 13, at 7:17:15 a.m., on a complex space station assembly mission.

Read our full story.

1942 GMT (3:42 p.m. EDT)
The poll of participants in the Flight Readiness Review has yielded the unanimous approval to proceed with liftoff on June 13, NASA says. Liftoff time will be targeted for 7:17 a.m. EDT to begin the 16-day, five-spacewalk mission to the space station.

Today's Flight Readiness Review examined presentations from the orbiter, external tank and solid rocket booster projects and the International Space Station program.

A press conference from Kennedy Space Center is coming up at 5 p.m. Check back later today for a complete wrapup story.

1345 GMT (9:45 a.m. EDT)
The Flight Readiness Review is underway at the Kennedy Space Center today as senior NASA managers gather to set the official launch date for space shuttle Endeavour. A post-meeting news conference is planned for 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT). For now, the liftoff is targeted for next Saturday, June 13.

Elsewhere at KSC, the seven astronauts are holding an informal news conference at pad 39A this morning. The crew will be trained on the pad's emergency features and procedures over the course of the day.

"We're getting pretty darn close to kicking this mission off next Saturday," said commander Mark Polansky. "Obviously, you can see the vehicle behind us and (we) want to offer up our appreciation to all of the folks at Kennedy Space Center and everywhere else throughout the agency for the hard work they have done getting this vehicle ready, which only a couple of days ago was on the other pad, on 39B, and to get that thing moved down here and prep it for us to conduct this test and get ready for launch is an amazing thing."

Since arriving at the spaceport Tuesday afternoon, the crew got to test-drive the armored tank that would be used to escape the bad in a worst-case scenario. The commander and pilot Doug Hurley then flew landing approaches into the shuttle runway. Later Tuesday night, the crew donned their bright orange launch and entry spacesuits for fit checks.

The so-called Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test culminates Thursday when the astronauts climb aboard Endeavour for the final three hours of a launch day dress rehearsal.

"I, personally, have always thought that (TCDT) is a really, necessary part of what the entire team does," Polansky said. "I think it focuses the team."

Space shuttle Endeavour's seven astronauts just arrived at the Kennedy Space Center to participate in emergency training exercises and a countdown dress rehearsal for next weekend's launch.

Commander Mark Polansky, pilot Doug Hurley, mission specialists Chris Cassidy, Tom Marshburn, Dave Wolf, Julie Payette of Canada and station-bound astronaut Tim Kopra flew from Houston to the Cape aboard a Shuttle Training Aircraft.

"We're delighted to be here for the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, better known as TCDT," Polansky told reporters at the runway shortly after the 2:45 p.m. EDT arrival.

Every shuttle crew undergoes the TCDT in the final weeks before a planned launch. But in the case of the Endeavour astronauts, the schedule was shortened in the wake of the Hubble mission and their shuttle not moving to pad 39A until Sunday.

"For us, it's a little bit of a compressed schedule. We're going to go ahead and do the two-day TCDT, fly home Thursday night, go into quarantine Saturday and we'll be back here very late on Monday night/Tuesday morning preparing for launch next Saturday."

The launch countdown is scheduled to start next Wednesday, leading to liftoff at 7:17 a.m. EDT on Saturday, June 13.

While in Florida this week, the astronauts will spend time learning how to evacuate pad 39A if an emergency arises, including procedures to operate the slide-wire baskets that would quickly whisk the crew from the launch tower to a bunker west of the pad, and test-drive an armored tank available for the astronauts to escape the area.

On Thursday, the crew will board Endeavour for a full countdown simulation. The astronauts will follow a normal launch morning routine with breakfast, a weather briefing on conditions at the Cape and various abort landing sites, then don their suits and depart crew quarters at about 7:45 a.m. to board the Astrovan that will take them to pad 39A.

After arriving shortly past 8 a.m., all seven astronauts will climb inside Endeavour and strap into their assigned seats for the final three hours of the mock countdown.

Clocks will halt in the final seconds to simulate a shutdown of the three main engines just prior to liftoff around 11 a.m. The crew will egress the shuttle and practice scurrying to the slide-wire baskets.

SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2009
Endeavour's mobile launch platform was secured atop pad 39A at 11:42 a.m. EDT. Ground crews quickly went to work hooking up systems to the shuttle and extending the swing arms from the pad tower. The rotating service structure was moved around Endeavour by early afternoon.

The seven astronauts will fly from Houston to Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday for training. Their practice countdown dress rehearsal is scheduled for Thursday.

NASA officials will hold the Flight Readiness Review on Wednesday to set the official launch date.

1505 GMT (11:05 a.m. EDT)
ENDEAVOUR AT PAD 39A. For just the fourth time in space shuttle program history, an orbiter has been transferred from one launch pad to the other in an operation known as a "rollaround."

Endeavour made the overnight trip from pad 39B to nearby pad 39A while perched atop its mobile launch platform and carried by the Apollo-era crawler-transporter.

Pad 39A is now considered the primary shuttle launch site, so Endeavour headed over there for the upcoming STS-127 mission that's scheduled for liftoff no earlier than June 13. Pad 39B is being given to the Constellation program for final modification work to support the Ares 1-X rocket test launch later this summer.

The three earlier times a shuttle had switched pads in "rollaround" fashion were Columbia's STS-35 flight in 1990, Endeavour's STS-61 flight in 1993 and Endeavour's STS-126 mission last October.

1350 GMT (9:50 a.m. EDT)
Endeavour is approaching the perimeter gate to enter pad 39A and begin climbing up the ramp.
1150 GMT (7:50 a.m. EDT)
The transporter is reaching the fork in the crawlerway that splits off to the two different launch pads. The crawler will get itself angled and then head toward pad 39A. Arrival is expected in a couple of hours.
0730 GMT (3:30 a.m. EDT)
The official start time for today's move was clocked at 3:16 a.m. EDT, NASA says.
0721 GMT (3:21 a.m. EDT)
ROLLAROUND STARTS. The crawler-transporter has begun hauling space shuttle Endeavour away from pad 39B.

Over the next several hours, Endeavour will travel down the crawlerway from pad 39B to the fork in the road and then head toward pad 39A.

This was the final time that a space shuttle will occupy pad 39B. The site will become the new home for the Ares 1-X test flight this summer and the future Ares 1 astronaut launch vehicle in the next decade.

Modifications of the complex for the new rocket have been underway for some time. The most visible sign of that effort was the construction of three 600-foot-tall lightning towers. But there's still work to be finished now that the shuttle era is over at pad 39B, highlighted by installation of a large claw-like device that will extend from the tower outward to give the Ares 1-X rocket added stability during its stay on the pad.

Pad 39B was convieved and originally built during Apollo. Its transformation into a space shuttle pad occurred in the early 1980s. Some 53 shuttle launches flew from the pad between 1986 and 2006.

Since that final liftoff two-and-a-half years ago, Endeavour was placed atop the pad twice -- last year and again over the past month -- to serve as a quick-response rescue if the shuttle Atlantis ran into trouble during the Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission.

The old shuttle tower and rotating service gantry will be torn down in the years to come to make way for the Ares 1 infrastructure.

0615 GMT (2:15 a.m. EDT)
The roll has not yet started. NASA is now projecting first motion at 3 a.m. EDT.
0505 GMT (1:05 a.m. EDT)
The rotating service structure has been moved away to reveal Endeavour, the launch pad umbilical arms have disconnected from the space shuttle and now the crawler-transporter is sliding underneath the mobile launcher platform in preparation for this morning's move from pad 39B to pad 39A.
0250 GMT (10:50 p.m. EDT Sat.)
Endeavour's departure from launch pad 39B has been pushed back two hours. Bad weather on Saturday delayed preparations for the roll, NASA says. The shuttle's move is now scheduled to start around 2 a.m. EDT.
SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2009
Workers are making final preparations for Endeavour's Sunday morning trip from launch pad 39B to nearby pad 39A. Disconnection of ordnance systems and adjusting the ship's hypergolic fuel loads have been completed now, after earlier weather delays this week.

Pad crews will finish unhooking umbilicals and other equipment on Saturday, plus retract the gantry-like rotating service structure from around Endeavour. The transport team will report for duty at 8 p.m. EDT. First motion of the so-called "rollaround" from one pad to another is targeted for 12:01 a.m. EDT (0401 GMT) Sunday.

Endeavour was positioned atop pad 39B on April 17 to serve as a standby rescue vehicle during shuttle Atlantis' servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope that launched from pad 39A on May 11. Atlantis flew the action-packed mission that renewed the observatory for an extended life and then safely landed last Sunday in California.

Pad 39B is undergoing modifications for the Ares 1-X rocket launch in late August or early September. Although the pad can support an emergency shuttle launch, NASA now wants to turn over the site to the new Constellation program to finish the preps for this summer's rocket test flight.

And so Endeavour will transfer from the northern pad to the southern one at Complex 39 to make way for Ares and start its own final days of activities before launch June 13 to the space station.

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FRIDAY, MAY 29, 2009
NASA managers met Friday and decided to continue processing the shuttle Endeavour for launch June 13 on a five-spacewalk space station assembly mission while continuing an analysis of a short circuit that knocked an avionics unit off line during the shuttle Atlantis' liftoff May 11.

Read our full story.

THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2009
Space shuttle Endeavour will switch launch pads at the Kennedy Space Center on Sunday morning, a move that's coming later than expected and making the schedules leading toward a mid-June space station construction flight even tighter.

Read our full story.

SUNDAY, MAY 24, 2009
Space shuttle Atlantis safely returned to Earth today, completing the Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission. Full coverage of Atlantis' flight can be seen here.

Endeavour will be moved to pad 39A next week to begin final preparations for its planned June 13 launch to the space station.

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009
With the shuttle Atlantis in good shape and no problems with its protective heat shield, NASA managers today released the shuttle Endeavour from stand-by duty for a possible launch on an emergency rescue mission.

Read our full story here.

FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2009
Following through on its extraordinary plan to have a quick-response space shuttle poised to launch if the Atlantis crew needs rescuing during next month's Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, NASA rolled sistership Endeavour to the other Kennedy Space Center pad overnight.

Marking only the 19th time in shuttle history, both pads at Complex 39 are now occupied. (See list here)

What's more, beginning around 1 p.m. EDT today the gantry for currently enclosing Atlantis at pad 39A will be opened to to receive the mission payload. Pulling back the structure will reveal the orbiter at the same time Endeavour remains uncovered. It's perhaps only the fourth time in shuttle history that two shuttles will be fully visible simultaneously, including September 1990, August 1994 and last September.

Atlantis was rolled to pad 39A on March 31 to begin preparations for its much-anticipated flight to upgrade the famous space observatory, and Endeavour reached pad 39B a mile-and-a-half to the north at sunrise this morning.

Currently targeted for launch May 12, Atlantis and her crew of seven astronauts will fly an 11-day mission featuring five spacewalks to install a pair of new scientific instruments into Hubble, attempt ambitious repairs on two failed instruments, replace the observatory's original 19-year-old batteries, plus exchange other internal components. The work is supposed to keep the telescope working into the next decade.

NASA originally scrapped plans for this fifth and final servicing in the wake of the shuttle Columbia tragedy due to safety concerns. The space agency later reversed the decision and drew up rescue plans in case Atlantis suffers damage during its ascent to Hubble.

Since the shuttle doesn't have the capability of reaching a safe haven at the international space station from Hubble's orbit to await rescue, Endeavour will be set to launch within days of an emergency being declared.

The odds of actually needing Endeavour to rescue a stranded crew aboard Atlantis are low, but shuttle leaders say having a second shuttle standing by was prudent.

If a problem with Atlantis is found soon after it is launched and engineers determine the shuttle couldn't safely re-enter the atmosphere for landing, the crew could take drastic steps to conserve power and supplies. That scenario would give the astronauts about 25 days to await Endeavour's arrival.

Endeavour would rendezvous with Atlantis about 23 hours after launch, coming within reach of the ship's robot arm that will firmly link the two craft together. Three spacewalks conducted over two days would allow the Atlantis crew to transfer to Endeavour.

However, if damage is spotted late in the mission during a round of planned inspections after the Hubble servicing is completed to check for micrometeoroid or space debris hits, known in NASA-speak as MMOD, agency officials would have decide if the crew could make quick repairs or whether to send up Endeavour in only the handful of days left before Atlantis' power runs out.

"We have worked very hard to develop repair capabilities for micrometeoroid/orbital debris damage. We've got plugs that we can put into the reinforced carbon-carbon, we've got non-oxide adhesive we can put over any cracks or any kind of holes. I think (the rescue) is there more for an ascent debris kind of situation, some kind of really gross ascent problem like we had on Columbia," said shuttle program manager John Shannon.

"It would take a very rare and very significant large-size damage from MMOD in a critical area to cause us to have to consider (flying Endeavour)."

Assuming Endeavour's role as a rescue ship isn't needed, the shuttle will be moved to pad 39A in late May to be prepped for a construction mission to the space station that will add an external science platform the Japanese laboratory. That launch is targeted for June 13.

1155 GMT (7:55 a.m. EDT)
The mobile launch platform was lowered onto the pad pedestals at 7:17 a.m. EDT, marking the official time for Endeavour's arrival at pad 39B.

In the next few hours and days, the methodical process of hooking up the crew module assess and hydrogen vent arms extending from the launch tower, as well as electrical, propellant, communications and other lines between the ground systems and mobile launch platform will begin.

1015 GMT (6:15 a.m. EDT)
With the first hints of dawn on the horizon, Endeavour has climbed up the concrete ramp of launch pad 39B, its crawler-transporter having used massive hydraulic pistons to keep the mobile platform level.

Now atop the pad surface, a precision laser guidance system will help align the platform over the pad pedestals. The crawler will lower the platform onto the pedestals to complete the rollout.

This is the final time a space shuttle will stand on Kennedy Space Center's pad 39B before the site is transformed into the launch site for the next-generation Ares 1 rocket.

0930 GMT (5:30 a.m. EDT)
Now five-and-a-half hours into this morning's rollout of Endeavour. The transporter has made good progress overnight and is nearing the launch pad.
0645 GMT (2:45 a.m. EDT)
A gallery of pictures showing Endeavour's late-night departure from the Vehicle Assembly Building can be seen here.
0500 GMT (1:00 a.m. EDT)
Space shuttle Endeavour has moved away from the 52-story landmark Vehicle Assembly Building where it spent the past week being attached to the external fuel tank and twin solid rockets atop a mobile platform.

The night owl move officially began at 11:57 p.m. EDT and should finish around sunrise.

Hauling the shuttle stack out to launch pad 39B on this 4.2-mile trek is one of NASA's two Apollo-era crawler-transporters. The combined weight of the transporter, mobile launch platform and shuttle Endeavour is 17.5 million pounds.

The stone-covered pathway connecting the VAB to the launch pad is 130 feet wide -- almost as broad as an eight-lane highway. Two 40-foot-wide lanes are separated by a 50-foot-wide median strip. The average depth is seven feet.

About 30 people are aboard the transporter to operate it during the rollout, including three drivers -- a prime and backup in the front cabin and one in the rear -- a jacking and leveling operator, a control room operator to run crawler systems and talk with the Launch Control Center, two electricians, two electronic technicians and four diesel mechanics for starting, monitoring and shutting down the transporter's engines. The other team members are mechanics watching over the roll and helping with the platform's docking to the launch pad.

The transporter consumes 126 gallons of diesel fuel in each mile it travels from the VAB to pad. The vehicle has a fuel capacity of 5,000 gallons.

0358 GMT (11:58 p.m. EDT Thurs.)
ROLLOUT BEGINS. The crawler has started moving, beginning the journey of Endeavour to Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39B.
0330 GMT (11:30 p.m. EDT Thurs.)
The Vehicle Assembly Building doors are open and clocks are counting down to the start of Endeavour's rollout about 30 minutes from now. Watch this page for live on-scene updates as the overnight journey gets underway.
0010 GMT (8:10 p.m. EDT Thurs.)
Endeavour's journey out to the launch pad remains scheduled to get underway around midnight local time at the Kennedy Space Center. The team responsible for moving the space shuttle reported for duty at 8 p.m.

The latest weather forecast for the overnight rollout calls for some broken clouds at 3,000 feet, unrestricted visibility, a northeasterly wind of 15 gusting to 22 knots, a temperature between 68 and 70 degrees F and a 30 percent chance of precipitation.

Looking at the weather rules for rollout, meteorologists say there's a zero percent chance of lightning within 20 miles of Complex 39 during the overnight and morning hours. Likewise, there's no chance of winds greater than 40 knots.

Endeavour should reach the launch pad shortly after sunrise and be secured, beginning a month-long campaign to serve as a quick-response vehicle in the unlikely event the Atlantis astronauts need to be rescued during the Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission.

Technicians inside the Vehicle Assembly Building are wrapping up work on space shuttle Endeavour ahead of Friday morning's rollout to launch pad 39B.

The rollout team is scheduled to report on-station at 8 p.m. EDT tonight, and the 4.2-mile trip is slated to begin just after midnight. Mounted atop a mobile launching platform, the combined shuttle stack should arrive at the seaside pad in about seven hours.

Endeavour will be positioned just a mile-and-a-half north of sistership Atlantis, which is undergoing preparations at pad 39A for its May 12 launch to service the Hubble Space Telescope. Endeavour will stand ready to fly a rescue mission if Atlantis suffers a serious a problem.

Over the history of NASA's space shuttle program, it has been a rarity for both launch pads at Complex 39 to be occupied at the same time. When Endeavour rolls out tomorrow, it will mark just the 19th time that two flight-ready orbiters will be standing on the dual seaside pads.

A complete list is available here.

A few hours after Endeavour reaches pad 39B, the rotating service gantry enclosing Atlantis at pad 39A will be opened up in preparation to receive the payloads to be carried on the Hubble mission. The remarkable sight of two shuttles fully exposed on the pad starts Friday afternoon for spectators to see.

This double shuttle viewing experience also occurred last September during the initial round of preparations for Atlantis' mission to Hubble. Panoramas and pictures are posted in our archives from that event.

In the center aisle of the Vehicle Assembly Building, an overhead crane hoisted Endeavour off its motorized transporter on Friday. Technicians spent several hours hooking up the large yellow sling to the orbiter.

Endeavour then went vertical and headed into the assembly bay where the external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters are stacked aboard the mobile launch platform.

By mid-day Saturday, Endeavour was successfully bolted to the tank's aft and forward attachment points.

FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2009
1355 GMT (9:55 a.m. EDT)
A gallery of pictures showing Endeavour's move this morning can be seen here.
1150 GMT (7:50 a.m. EDT)
IN THE VAB! In preparation for its role as a standby rescue craft during next month's Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission and its scheduled June construction flight to the international space station, shuttle Endeavour rolled from the hangar to the Vehicle Assembly Building this morning.

The cavernous VAB is where the ship will be mated to its external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters atop a mobile launching platform. A metal "sling" will be bolted to Endeavour later today, lifting the shuttle from the transport hauler that carried it from the hangar during the past hour. A heavy-duty crane will rotate the spacecraft vertically, then begin the methodical process of hoisting the ship high into the rafters, over to the assembly bay and carefully lowering Endeavour into position next to the awaiting fuel tank for attachment.

Once the completed shuttle stack is fully mated, the interface verification test will be conducted to ensure good electrical and mechanical connections between the vehicle elements.

Rollout to launch pad 39B is targeted to begin at midnight next Friday morning. It will mark only the 19th time that both shuttle pads have been occupied at the same time. Shuttle Atlantis was moved to pad 39A last week.

The two missions have an unusual coupling because Endeavour will stand ready for launch as a rescue vehicle should Atlantis suffer a major problem during its May flight to service the Hubble Space Telescope.

Since Hubble flies in an equatorial orbit, the Atlantis crew cannot reach the space station for safe haven. That means NASA must take unique steps to have Endeavour ready to go within a matter of days if Atlantis sustains damage and engineers deem the ship unsafe for re-entry.

Assuming Atlantis is declared to be in good shape for its landing May 23, Endeavour will be unhooked from pad 39B and transferred to pad 39A around May 28.

Pad 39A is now the primary shuttle launch site. Endeavour must be relocated there to undergo final preps for its space station flight that will haul up the third and final part of Japan's section of the outpost, a porch-like science exposure facility that will attach to the country's main laboratory module.

Liftoff is slated for June 13 at 7:25 a.m. EDT.

Endeavour's flight will feature five spacewalks. Among the work planned during the EVAs is installation of the Japanese payload, delivering spare parts to the outpost and replacing aging battery packs on the station's initial power module, the Port 6 truss, that was launched in 2000.

Led by veteran commander Mark Polansky, the Endeavour crew includes pilot Doug Hurley, mission specialists Chris Cassidy, Tom Marshburn, Dave Wolf, Julie Payette of Canada and station-bound astronaut Tim Kopra who will remain in orbit to replace Expedition flight engineer Koichi Wakata. The station's first Japanese long-duration crew member will return to Earth on Endeavour after three-and-a-half months living in space.

1120 GMT (7:20 a.m. EDT)
Endeavour is completely outside the hangar now on this chilly morning.

The Orbiter Transporter System is doing the heavy-duty work during this morning's move. Originally designed and built for use at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, the transporter was brought to Kennedy Space Center in 1989 after the West Coast space shuttle launch site was mothballed.

The transporter is 106 feet in length, weighs 167,000 pounds unloaded and about 327,000 pounds with an orbiter on top and sports 76 wheels. It has a turning radius of 66 feet.

You can envision the OTS as a yellow motorized trailer. At Vandenberg, shuttles were supposed to be prepared for flight in a hangar on the military installation's north side, then ferried aboard the OTS transporter about 17 miles across the hilly terrain to the Space Launch Complex-6 pad on South Base.

In contrast, shuttles in the program's early years at KSC were towed between the hangars and Vehicle Assembly Building with the orbiters' landing gear down.

But with Vandenberg's shuttle plans cancelled after Challenger, the transporter was brought to Florida and pressed into service. It allows NASA to retract a shuttle's landing gear and seal the critical heat-protection tiles around the doors while still in the hangar before rolling out.

The top speed of the transporter while hauling Endeavour to the Vehicle Assembly Building is five miles per hour. The V12 engine generates about 335 horsepower.

1058 GMT (6:58 a.m. EDT)
ROLL BEGINS. Endeavour is slowly backing out of the hangar, bound for a week-long stopover at the Vehicle Assembly Building in preparation for its 23rd voyage into space.

This initial part of the move occurs at a snail's pace given the close quarters between Endeavour and the cocoon-like scaffolding inside the hangar that enclosed the ship. Once outside, the motorized transporter will throttle up to a casual walking pace and head for the VAB.

1035 GMT (6:35 a.m. EDT)
Good morning from just outside the Orbiter Processing Facility bay No. 2 where it's moving day for Endeavour. The hangar doors are open, workers and photographers have gathered to watch and soon the space shuttle will emerge.

Mounted atop a 76-wheel transporter, the Endeavour will be backed out of the space-age garage for the short drive into the Vehicle Assembly Building. The trip should take about 45 minutes.

Technicians inside the VAB will hoist the spaceplane upright and attach it to the external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters over the next few days.

Space shuttle Endeavour is scheduled to leave its hangar at 7 a.m. EDT Friday for the quarter-mile transfer into the Vehicle Assembly Building where the external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters await the orbiter's attachment.

The fully assembled shuttle stack will be rolled out to launch pad 39B next Friday to serve as a rapid-response vehicle during Atlantis' flight to repair and upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. Atlantis was positioned at pad 39A last week to be readied for launch May 12.

Since Atlantis won't have the capability of reaching a safe haven at the international space station from Hubble's orbit if something goes wrong, Endeavour will be poised for launch within days from nearby pad 39B to save the astronauts.

Assuming an emergency rescue isn't needed, Endeavour will switch to pad 39A on May 28 to be prepped for a mission to deliver Japan's external science platform to the space station. That launch is targeted for June 13 around 7:25 a.m. EDT.

Watch this page for live updates during Endeavour's trip to the VAB!

STS-127 patch
The official embroidered patch for shuttle Endeavour's flight to finish building Japanese section of the space station.

Hubble crew
The official embroidered patch for mission STS-125, the space shuttle's last planned service call to the Hubble Space Telescope, is available for purchase.


Expedition 20
The official embroidered patch for the International Space Station Expedition 20 crew is now available from our stores.

STS-128 patch
The official embroidered patch for shuttle Discovery's flight to deliver equipment and research gear to the space station.