NASA sets June 13 launch date for Endeavour

Cape Canaveral (FL) – NASA today said that it plans to launch Endeavour on June 13. The space shuttle will be sent to the International Space Station (ISS) to cover five spacewalks and to complete construction of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Kibo lab.

STS-127 is expected to last 16 days and will begin on June 13, when the shuttle is expected to lift off at 7:17 am EDT from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA said that astronauts will attach a platform to the outside of the Japanese module that will allow experiments to be exposed to space.

The announcement of the launch date came after a “daylong Flight Readiness Review at Kennedy,” NASA said. During the meeting, top NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the shuttle’s equipment, support systems and procedures are ready for flight.

Endeavour returns to space after its most recent flight, which took place from November 14 – 29, raised safety concerns over the gaseous hydrogen venting system outside the external fuel tank, which was damaged during the shuttle’s flight. The concerns caused NASA to delay the launch of Discovery from February 12 to March 15, following extensive tests how vulnerable the shuttle’s hydrogen flow control regulation, which maintains the tank’s structural integrity and delivers liquid hydrogen to the engines at the correct pressure, really is.

According to NASA, the problem was resolved.