Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tentative May 11 Launch for STS-125

After the flight readiness review, NASA has voted unanimously to give the Space Shuttle a go for launch on May 11. This is the STS-125 mission, to service the Hubble Space Telescope for the last time. This should extend Hubble's service life long enough for its replacement to be completed.

Interestingly, the shuttle cannot reach the International Space Station from Hubble's orbit, so another complete shuttle stack has been moved to the other NASA pad in case an on-orbit rescue becomes necessary. There are great videos and stills around the Internet showing both pads occupied for the last time in the shuttle program.

NASA will conduct a post-flight readiness review press conference today (Thursday) at 5 PM Eastern Daylight Time (2100 UTC).