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Shuttle Fueled, No Leaks

12 Jul 2009, 18:18 UTC
Shuttle Fueled, No Leaks
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NASA completed filling shuttle Endeavour's external fuel tank with 500,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen that will feed its three main engines during the 8.5-minute climb to orbit. Unlike the last two previous launch attempts, there were no leaks of the hydrogen venting system, clearing NASA to proceed with a launch at 7:13 p.m. EDT.The crew, led by two-time shuttle veteran Mark Polansky, is awake and just finished lunch. Polansky dined on steak and lobster tails. Mission specialists Chris Cassidy and Timothy Kopra opted for steak and mashed potatoes, Tom Marshburn ate lobster and salad and the rest of the crew -- pilot Doug Hurley, Canadian Space Agency astronaut Julie Payette and lead spacewalker David Wolf -- ate cheeseburgers. The astronauts are scheduled to begin donning their pressurized flight suits around 3 p.m. and head out to the launch pad to board Endeavour about an hour later.The weather looks good for launch, with forecasters expecting a 70 percent chance conditions will be suitable for liftoff. Endeavour is carrying the last part of Japan's Kibo laboratory to the International Space Station and tons of spare parts that will be needed to keep the station operational after the shuttles are ...

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