STS-118 flight readiness review begins

July 25, 2007 at 9:29 AM
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., July 25 (UPI) -- The flight readiness review for space shuttle Endeavour's upcoming STS-118 mission started Wednesday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

NASA scientists and managers participating in the two-day meeting are to discuss the status of the shuttle, its flight crew and payload to confirm an official launch date. Launch is currently targeted for the evening of Aug. 7.

The shuttle's crew last week completed the terminal countdown demonstration test -- a routine element of pre-launch training -- that concluded with a simulated countdown at Launch Pad 39A.

The 11-day mission to the International Space Station will mark the first flight for Endeavour since 2002, and the first mission for astronaut Barbara Morgan, a former teacher whose association with NASA began more than 20 years ago.

Joining Morgan will be U.S. Navy Cmdr. Scott Kelley, who will command the seven-person shuttle crew; U.S. Marine Lt. Col. Charles Hobaugh, Endeavour's pilot; Canadian Space Agency astronauts Richard Mastracchio and Dafydd Williams, who will be returning to space for their second mission; and astronauts Tracy Caldwell and Benjamin Alvin Drew.

The crew will continue space station construction by delivering a third starboard truss segment.

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