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Fri, Jul 03, 2009

Endeavour Countdown Set To Begin Again

Launch Planned For July 11th

Launch preparations are under way at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida following Wednesday's successful test fueling of space shuttle Endeavour's external tank.

Two previous attempts to launch Endeavour on the STS-127 mission were halted by a leak in the area of the Ground Umbilical Carrier Plate, which attaches a gaseous hydrogen vent line to the external tank. After several days of investigation and repair work, the massive orange tank was filled with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen as controllers watched for evidence of leaks. The system performed well, verifying the success of the repair.

"There were absolutely no leak indications whatsoever noted on the two leak detectors," said Launch Director Pete Nickolenko. "We'll continue to look at the data, and our next step is to move toward launch."

Endeavour's astronauts are taking the holiday weekend off and will go into quarantine Sunday evening. They are due to arrive at Kennedy on July 7th. The countdown will officially begin Wednesday at 2200 when clocks begin ticking backward from T-43 hours. Liftoff is set for July 11 at 1939.

FMI: www.nasa.gov

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