Rescue shuttle moved to launch pad just in case

Apr 17, 2009
Space shuttle Endeavour stands ready after arriving at Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Friday, April 17, 2009. Endeavour is scheduled to launch June 13 and will deliver the exposed facility of Japan's Kibo laboratory to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

(AP) -- Space shuttle Endeavour is on a launch pad, ready to rocket off on a rescue mission if shuttle Atlantis needs help when it flies to repair the Hubble Space Telescope next month.

Endeavour rolled out early Friday to a at the Kennedy Space Center and is on standby in case the on Atlantis need a safe ride home. Atlantis is on a separate launch pad less than two miles away.

Ever since space shuttles resumed flying following the 2003 Columbia tragedy that killed seven astronauts, NASA has had a rescue plan in case of irreparable damage. Most of those missions have been to the space station, though, where astronauts could camp out for two months. The Hubble mission doesn't offer a safe haven.

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SparkyMetal
5 / 5 (1) Apr 19, 2009
Glad there's a "back up" plan. I watched a NOVA special on the repair mission; they said it was supposed to be insanely dangerous for the astronauts ... I can't fully remember all the details of the risks involved - anyone out there know? Hope they get back safe & sound.