The launch of Space Shuttle Endeavour on mission STS-118 has been postponed 24 hours to allow the shuttle processing team additional time to complete routine work before liftoff.
The new launch is targeted for Wednesday, Aug. 8, at 6:36 p.m. EDT. The additional day will provide time to complete the processing and allow the countdown to begin at 8 p.m. Sunday.
Led by Commander Scott Kelly, the seven-member STS-118 flight crew has departed Ellington Field in Houston aboard a NASA jet. The astronauts are set to arrive at 4:30 p.m. at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility. They will spend the remaining days until launch undergoing final prelaunch preparations, including suit fit checks, briefings, medical exams and landing practice in the shuttle training aircraft.
An earlier leak in Endeavour's crew cabin has been fully resolved. The problem was traced to one of two positive pressure-relief valves that ensure that the cabin does not become over-pressurized. The suspect valve was removed and replaced with a valve from Atlantis. Another round of testing was successfully completed last night, with no leakage detected.
Today at Launch Pad 39A, ordnance and fuel system pressure activities are under way, to be followed by closeouts of the orbiter's aft main engine compartment.
The 22nd flight to the International Space Station, STS-118 will be the first flight for Endeavour since 2002, and the first mission for Mission Specialist Barbara Morgan, the teacher-turned-astronaut whose association with NASA began more than 20 years ago.
Explore further: NASA's reliance on outsourcing launches causes a dilemma for the space agency