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February 25, 2002

2002 Year at a Glance

Status Reports

January Status Reports

This is an orbiter processing report and does not necessarily reflect the chronological order of upcoming Space Shuttle flights.  Visit for the latest schedule of future Shuttle missions.


MISSION: STS-109 -- HST Servicing Mission 3B

Vehicle Columbia/OV-102
Target KSC Launch Date/Time Feb. 28, 2002 at 6:48 a.m. EST
Target KSC Landing Date/Time March 11, 2002 at 5:01 a.m. EST
Mission Duration 11 days
Crew Altman, Carey, Grunsfeld, Currie, Newman, Linnehan, Massimino 
Orbital Insertion Altitude/ Inclination 308 nautical miles/28.5 degrees

Shuttle Processing Note  (previous notes)

The final countdown for Shuttle Columbia on the STS-109 mission picked up on schedule at the T-43 hour mark at 10 a.m. this morning, aiming toward a planned liftoff at 6:48 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 28. Today's activities include final vehicle and facility closeouts, verifying backup flight systems for the onboard general purpose computers and activating and testing the navigational systems. The seven STS-109 crewmembers arrived at KSC at 1 a.m. this morning and spent about two hours at the Pad A performing a final inspection of the Hubble payload they will deploy on orbit during five spacewalks. The payload bay doors will be closed for launch later tonight. Evaluation of the status of the Auxiliary Power Unit hydraulic pump bolts will be completed today and addressed at tomorrow's L-2 Mission Management Team meeting.

The forecast for Thursday predicts a 30 percent probability of weather prohibiting launch, with scattered clouds at 3,000 feet, a temperature of 40 degrees F and surface winds from the northwest at 5 to 10 knots. The forecast for the Solid Rocket Booster recovery area calls for a sea state of eight to 10 feet, northwest winds 18-22 knots and an ocean temperature of 72 degrees F.


*all times are Eastern

Launch-2 Days (Tuesday, Feb. 26)
Complete preparation to load power reactant storage and distribution system (1 a.m.)
Flight deck preliminary inspections complete (2 a.m.)

Enter first built-in hold at T-27 hours for duration of 4 hours (2 a.m.)

Clear launch pad of all non-essential personnel
Perform test of the vehicle's pyrotechnic initiator controllers (3 a.m.)

Resume countdown (6 a.m.)
Begin operations to load cryogenic reactants into Columbia's fuel cell storage tanks 
(6 a.m. - 2 p.m.) 
Enter 4-hour built-in hold at T-19 hours (2 p.m.)

Begin filling pad sound suppression system water tank (2 p.m.)
Demate orbiter mid-body umbilical unit (2:30 p.m.)
Resume orbiter and ground support equipment close-outs

Resume countdown (6 p.m.)

Final preparations of the Shuttle's three main engines for main propellant tanking and flight (6 p.m.)
Pad sound suppression system water tank filling complete (7 p.m.)
Close out the tail service masts on the mobile launcher platform 

Launch-1 Day (Wednesday, Feb. 27)

Enter planned hold at T-11 hours for 12 hours, 58 minutes (2 a.m.)
Begin star tracker functional checks (3 a.m.)
Activate orbiter's inertial measurement units
Activate the orbiter's communications systems 
Install film in numerous cameras on the launch pad (4:50 a.m.)
Flight crew equipment late stow (7:20 a.m.)
Move Rotating Service Structure (RSS) to the park position (11 a.m.)
Perform ascent switch list
Fuel cell flow-through purge complete 
Resume countdown at T-11 hours (2:58 p.m.)

Activate the orbiter's fuel cells (4:08 p.m.) 
Clear the blast danger area of all non-essential personnel
Switch Columbia's purge air to gaseous nitrogen (4:43 p.m.) 

Enter planned 2-hour built-in hold at the T-6 hour mark (7:58 p.m.)

Launch team verifies no violations of launch commit criteria prior to cryogenic loading of the external tank 
Clear pad of all personnel

Resume countdown (9:58 p.m.)

Chilldown of propellant transfer lines (9:28 p.m.)
Begin loading the external tank with about 500,000 gallons of cryogenic propellants (about 9:58 p.m.)

Launch Day (Thursday, Feb. 28)

Complete filling the external tank with its flight load of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants (about 12:58 a.m.)
Final Inspection Team proceed to launch pad

Enter planned 2-hour built-in hold at T-3 hours (12:58 a.m.)

Perform inertial measurement unit preflight calibration
Align Merritt Island Launch Area (MILA) tracking antennas
Perform open loop test with Eastern Range

Resume countdown at T-3 hours (2:58 a.m.)
Crew departs Operations and Checkout Building for the pad (3:04 a.m.)
Complete close-out preparations in the white room
Check cockpit switch configurations 
Flight crew begins entry into the orbiter (about 3:34 a.m.)
Astronauts perform air-to-ground voice checks with Launch and Mission Control
Close Columbia's crew hatch (about 4:48 a.m.)
Begin Eastern Range final network open loop command checks
Perform hatch seal and cabin leak checks
Complete white room close-out 
Close-out crew moves to fallback area
Primary ascent guidance data is transferred to the backup flight system
Enter planned 10-minute hold at T-20 minutes (5:38 a.m.)

NASA Test Director conducts final launch team briefings
Complete inertial measurement unit preflight alignments
Resume countdown at T-20 minutes (5:48 a.m.)
Transition the orbiter's onboard computers to launch configuration 
Start fuel cell thermal conditioning
Close orbiter cabin vent valves
Transition backup flight system to launch configuration
Enter estimated 40-minute hold at T-9 minutes (5:59 a.m.)

Launch Director, Mission Management Team and NASA Test Director conduct final polls for go/no go to launch

Resume countdown at T-9 minutes (about 6:39 a.m.)
Start automatic ground launch sequencer (T-9:00 minutes)
Retract orbiter crew access arm (T-7:30)
Start mission recorders (T-6:15)
Start Auxiliary Power Units (T-5:00)
Arm SRB and ET range safety safe and arm devices (T-5:00)
Start liquid oxygen drainback (T-4:55)
Start orbiter aerosurface profile test (T-3:55)
Start main engine gimbal profile test (T-3:30)
Pressurize liquid oxygen tank (T-2:55)
Begin retraction of the gaseous oxygen vent arm (T-2:55)
Fuel cells to internal reactants (T-2:35)
Pressurize liquid hydrogen tank (T-1:57)
Deactivate SRB joint heaters (T-1:00)
Orbiter transfers from ground to internal power (T-0:50 seconds)
Ground Launch Sequencer go for auto sequence start (T-0:31 seconds)
SRB gimbal profile (T-0:21 seconds)
Ignition of three Space Shuttle main engines (T-6.6 seconds)
SRB ignition and liftoff (T-0)

Commander (CDR):              Scott D. Altman 
Pilot (PLT):                          Duane G. Carey 
Payload Commander (MS1): John M. Grunsfeld 
Mission Specialist (MS2):     Nancy Jane Currie 
Mission Specialist (MS3):     Richard M. Linnehan 
Mission Specialist (MS4):     James H. Newman 
Mission Specialist (MS5):     Michael J. Massimino 


Wednesday, Feb. 27
  9:00 p.m. Crew wake up
10:15 p.m. Breakfast

Thursday, Feb. 28
*1:00 a.m. Snack and photo opportunity
 2:24 a.m. Weather Briefing (CDR, PLT, MS2)
*2:24 a.m. Don flight suits (MS1, MS3, MS4, MS5)
*2:34 a.m. Don flight suits (CDR, PLT, MS2)
*3:04 a.m. Depart for launch pad
*3:34 a.m. Arrive at white room and begin ingress
*4:48 a.m. Close crew hatch
*6:48 a.m. Launch

* Televised events (times may vary slightly)
All times Eastern


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