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February 28, 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 March 1, 2002 at 6:22 a.m. EST
Target KSC Landing Date/Time March 12, 2002 at 4:35 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)

Following yesterday's postponement, the countdown for the launch of Columbia on the STS-109 mission was recycled to the T-11 mark and holding. The countdown will resume at 2:32 p.m. today aiming for a planned liftoff of 6:22 a.m. Friday, March 1. The Rotating Service Structure move to the parked position was completed at 11:30 a.m. The start of External Tank propellant loading is scheduled for 9:32 p.m. Final mission status will be evaluated by the Shuttle Management Team at tonight's 8:30 p.m. tanking meeting. A Shuttle engineering team has completed an extensive evaluation of the landing gear bearing issue and has determined there are no technical constraints that will impact the STS-109 landing. Their report will be presented to the Mission Management Team tonight for final disposition.

The STS-109 astronauts' circadian work schedule has been adjusted to meet the new launch time. They were awakened last night at about 8:30 p.m. and spent the day visiting with families, reviewing flight plans and receiving updates on the weather forecast and countdown progress. They will be awakened about 8:30 p.m. tonight and will depart their crew quarters for the launch pad at 2:38 a.m. tomorrow. 

A more optimistic weather forecast was issued for launch time with a temperature at 55 degrees F, winds from the northeast at 14 to 20 knots and a relative humidity of 86 percent. Probability of conditions prohibiting launch is 30 percent because of the possibility of low cloud ceilings. Winds at the shuttle Landing Facility will be from the northeast at eight to 13 knots. The weather at sea also has improved with a prediction of a sea state of three to four feet, east-northeast winds 15 to 18 knots and a water temperature of 72 degrees F in the Solid Rocket Booster recovery area.


*all times are Eastern

Launch Day (Friday, March 1)

Complete filling the external tank with its flight load of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants (about 12:32 a.m.)
Final Inspection Team proceed to launch pad

Enter planned 2-hour built-in hold at T-3 hours (12:32 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 (2:32 a.m.)

Crew departs Operations and Checkout Building for the pad (2:38 a.m.)
Complete close-out preparations in the white room
Check cockpit switch configurations 
Flight crew begins entry into the orbiter (about 3:08 a.m.)
Astronauts perform air-to-ground voice checks with Launch and Mission Control
Close Columbia's crew hatch (about 4:22 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 (5:12 a.m.)

NASA Test Director conducts final launch team briefings
Complete inertial measurement unit preflight alignments

Resume countdown at T-20 minutes (5:22 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 (5:33 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 6:13 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 


Thursday, Feb. 28
8:34 p.m.    Crew wake up
9:49 p.m.    Breakfast

Friday, March 1
*12:34 a.m. Snack and photo opportunity
1:58 a.m.    Weather Briefing (CDR, PLT, MS2)
*1:58 a.m.   Don flight suits (MS1, MS3, MS4, MS5)
*2:08 a.m.   Don flight suits (CDR, PLT, MS2)
*2:38 a.m.   Depart for launch pad
*3:08 a.m.   Arrive at white room and begin ingress
*4:22 a.m.   Close crew hatch
*6:22 a.m.   Launch

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


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