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Launch currently (as of July 3) scheduled for evening of August 7, 2007.
Launch currently (as of August 3, 14:15 edt) scheduled for evening of August 8, 2007.

Sucessfully launched August 8, 2007

Sucessfully landed August 21, 2007

This is the mission I personally have been waiting for and I hope you, as educators, are excited about it, too. I plan to be at Kennedy Space Center for this launch. Please contact me if you are interested in a workshop for educators or a program for your students.

A press release (pdf) regarding the Teacher In Space / Space Ambassador conference at Kennedy Space Center during the launch that I am helping to coordinate and will be attending is here.

Please scroll down--there's lots of information on STS-118 here.

Please note the two essays related to the importance of educators.

Please read the postings for my Labor Day Parade invitation for teachers and students. (To make the most sense, read Aug. 21, then Aug. 28.) Also, the posting about the Parade itself just below.

The 33rd Annual Northfield Labor Day Parade

We did march in the Labor Day Parade on Monday, Sept. 3, 2007 along with 49 other groups of parade entries and probably close to 1,300 or more individuals (1100 marchers were Norwich university cadets). About 8,000 people watched. We recruited a 6th grade friend, Dyson, who helped make a recycled cardboard box, a flower pot, and a lot of tape into a model of the Endeavour orbiter embellished with the 3-R arrow logo (recycle, reuse, reduce). The parade judges were so impressed with Dyson and the shuttle (powered by her foot-power to simultaneously walk and wave both arms while wearing/ flying inside the shuttle), plus the inflatable Earth, huge Earth flag, green grocery shopping bag, photo of Vermont from space, etc. that they awarded us the Grand Prize, the Emma Sargeant Trophy and $200 cash prize! Senator Bernie Sanders joined us in our march (which was a very big deal for Dyson to meet her first U.S. Senator), and we all had a grand time.

Emma Sargeant was a long-time beloved teacher from Northfield and the annual trophy is related to children. Dyson and her parents have supported my idea for using the cash prize. The $200 cash prize will be used towards professional development of teachers to help them integrate space education and STEM-G+ (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, geography and many other subjects) into their classrooms. Stay tuned and keep checking this site's Space Education News page.

Here's a link to the Parade website (but it doesn't look like it's updated frequently), a link to the Times Argus newspaper article (follow the "Galleries" link for photos #21 and #22, including one of us and Bernie!), and a link to the Parade on Bernie's site.

(Additional note from Gail: I haven't had that blue suit on in years but bring it to schools so kids can see all the pockets and zippers. Dyson and I both agreed to wear them to go with our "float", mine unzipped halfway so my STS-118 patch t-shirt was visible.)

Waiting for the parade to start.

Marching in the Parade.


Endeavour landing

Tues., Aug. 28, 2007

Updated Addendum to: Welcome home, Barb and crew and Endeavour! (revised from Aug. 21.)

Final Details about "An invitation to Vermont educators and students to join me in a celebration!" (Scroll down to Tues., Aug. 21, 2007- STS-118 landing day posting.)

WHO: You! Vermont educators and your students.

WHY: I hope you'll join me as I celebrate all of you and all that you do every single day for and with your students! This will be a celebration of the importance of teachers/educators and all education support staff. Let's publicly flaunt it on Labor Day in celebration of "Back to School" and the start of a new school year!

This parade "float" is about you. It's about Vermont and its economic future and workforce. It's about education--and yes, it's about the Vermont Space Education Program's role in all of that! I have lots of dreams and ideas related to space education that I hope to bring to fruition in Vermont this year and for many years. Dreams require funding and I hope that this visual display by your support and walking with me will help my efforts to find funding to bring more integrated, thematic, Earth and space education programs to Vermont's educators and your students.

WHAT: I have spoken to Northfield's parade official and have submitted my entry form to participate in their 32nd annual Labor Day parade.

The parade route is less than a mile: .8 according to my odometer. Pretty flat for .4 miles, then a slight downhill grade, eventually a steeper downhill to the finish.

1) I need to know how many people will be walking with me in the parade--please send me an RSVP by Friday, August 31 at 4:00pm:

Your name as contact person: _____

The name of your school or education organization: _____

Approximate number of teachers/ education personnel joining you: ____

Approximate number of students/ children joining you: ___

Your email address (If you would like to be added to my email list.):____

(Optional) Your phone number(s): School/work: (802)____-____ OR Home: (802)___-____ OR Cell: (802)___-____ FAX # (802)___-____

2) Parade Theme: "KEEP VERMONT GREEN"

Floats that conform with the theme will compete for cash prizes (If we won anything I would roll it into an upcoming educational program opportunity for Vermont educators.)

* CREATIVITY: In keeping with the theme of "Keep Vermont Green", please use recycled materials. Please make and wear space exploration or space science related costumes OR wear your school's t-shirts OR create a space themed "school t-shirt" using markers, paint, recycled fabric scraps, etc.) HAVE FUN and BE CREATIVE--or find students and/or your own children to be creative.

* Have your students make, wear, become and/or bring "space themed" props: space shuttles, Mars rovers, lunar landers, wind power, solar power, robotic arms, robots, rockets, new space craft, model airplanes, models of the various planets and moons within our solar system--or the universe, stars and comets, aliens...whatever fits with "space education" and "Keep Vermont Green". Celebrate education, teachers and students! Celebrate creativity! Celebrate living in Vermont where we want to "Keep Vermont Green" every day!

I'd love to have your ideas and suggestions for a float that conforms with the parade theme "Keep Vermont Green"--but is tied into space exploration and space education!

I'm working with some kids in my neighborhood after school tomorrow. We're thinking about making a papier mache' model of Earth as seen from space, show Vermont on the model and something more about keeping it green, possibly more about space observations related to Global and Climate Change.

3) PARADE GUIDELINES (RULES & REGULATIONS that must be followed.)

-- Participants may only display the name of the organization only: Vermont Space Education Program. However, the parade organizers have given permission for each school to carry one sign identifying the NAME OF YOUR SCHOOL and it's Vermont TOWN location.

-- No Politicians are allowed to participate in the Parade.

-- No candidate for public office or holder of public office or their representatives may participate in the parade as a candidate.

-- No throwing of candy or other items into the crowd for the safety of the children.

-- Do not hand out advertising literature.

-- All animal owners will be responsible for the removal and proper disposal of animal waste throughout the parade. (I might be bringing one of my Siberian Huskies--or not. Yet to be determined.)


All parade entries are to meet at the Norwich University Ski Area, RAIN or SHINE, at 8:30am, Monday, September 3, 2007--SHARP! Parade starts at 10:30am--on time!

Park at the parade start (or park at the finish area and hike up the hill to the start area).

* Parade Start area: The Norwich University Ski Center. (Rt. 12A: Crescent Ave. which is across from Plumley Armory and behind the little park. Look for the white fence between two white houses.)

* The parade ends at: Kenyon's True Value (Rt. 12A at the bottom of the hill by the Exxon gas station.)

Judging will take place between 8:30 and 10:15, prior to the parade start, and winners announced as they pass by the reviewing stand. That's all the info I have to date. I'll create an email distribution list and send more details to all who wish to join me.

1:05pm Tues., Aug. 21, 2007

Welcome home, Barb and crew and Endeavour!

An invitation to Vermont educators and students to join me in a celebration!

Yahoo! What a phenomenal mission! Wheel stop on center line was at 12:32:33pm EDT--and was beautiful to watch from here in Vermont (online via NASA TV and via CNN broadcasting on TV).

Now I'm breathing again and am really ready to celebrate--but that "breathing thing" happens to me with every single launch and landing. Spaceflight is always risky--has been and will be for a very long time. I was glued to NASA TV for this landing--as well as throughout the mission. I confess to wishing I was with the rest of my TIS-SA buddies to share this euphoric feeling--and they feel the same as my phone has been ringing off the hook with their calls. Lots of emails have been arriving as well as we all share this excitement of a very successful mission for Barb and the entire crew.

Here's my idea for a Vermont style, low-budget (free) celebration. I am extending an invitation to all of you to please join me in the Northfield, Vermont annual Labor Day parade on Monday, September 3. I will post an addendum with details about what time to arrive and where to meet after I talk to the Northfield folks.

I would like every Vermont teacher and administrator, paraprofessional, aide and all others connected to education (whether I've worked with you or not) to join me. Come alone, come with other teacher friends and/or with your students and join me as part of the Vermont Space Education Program "float". Celebrate Barbara Morgan, Mission Specialist Astronaut with the heart, mind, eyes, ears and soul of a teacher.

Let's all walk together to celebrate Barbara Morgan's wonderful accomplishment, to celebrate teachers, educators and education. Make a sign with your school's name and proclaiming your support for space education, for education, for the importance of teachers/educators. Let's all walk and celebrate together.

I'm watching the NASA briefing by the mission managers as I type this posting. There will be a press conference with the entire STS-118 crew at 5:30pm EDT today. You can catch it again via NASA TV (online, via satellite or cable TV). Way to go Barb and the entire crew, Endeavour and all the ground support at JSC, KSC and elsewhere around the country. It takes an enormous team made up of many hundreds--or thousands--of individuals working together in small teams and larger teams to make a successful mission (starting with training and the trainers all the way to the various types of engineers, designers, technicians, contractors and sub-contractors around the country, the managers and administration.)

Please email me if you would like to join in the Northfield's Labor Day parade as part of the VSEP "float" to celebrate STS-118, teachers, education and space education.

7:45am--Monday, August 20

For the latest updates about tomorrow's planned landing of Endeavour with her crew of astronauts click here for the NASA site. You can watch the landing on NASA TV--which has given phenomenal non-stop coverage of this mission!

8:50pm--Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Endeavour crew began their sleep period at 8:36pm EDT and will wake at 4:36 am EDT to begin Flight Day 13.

An education downlink with astronaut Barbara Morgan and Daffyd Williams (a Canadian astronaut) and the Canadian Space Agency will take place Monday morning at 11:36am EDT.

All photos credit: NASA

S118-E-09416 (19 Aug. 2007) --- A beautiful photo of Earth as Endeavour moves away from the International Space Station. Earlier the STS-118 and Expedition 15 crews concluded nearly nine days of cooperative work onboard the shuttle and station. Undocking of the two spacecraft occurred at 6:56 a.m. (CDT) on Aug. 19, 2007.

A still photo close-up of the eye of Category 4 Hurricane Dean. Crew members on the Space Shuttle Endeavour captured this image around 1 p.m. EDT Saturday of Hurricane Dean in the Caribbean (Flight Day 11). Image: NASA

Click here to see the astronauts' video from space of Hurricane Dean. (This link will also give you the videos of Barbara Morgan's education downlinks.)

Photo of STS-118 crew in ISS on Flight Day 10, Aug. 17, 2007. High Res image here.

ISS015-E-23031 (17 Aug. 2007) --- The ISS Expedition 15 and STS-118 crewmembers gathered together in the Destiny laboratory on the International Space Station. ISS Expedition 15 crewmembers in the front row in dark blue shirts, from the left: U.S. NASA astronaut Clayton C. Anderson, flight engineer; along with cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin, commander; and Oleg Kotov, flight engineer, both with Russia's Federal Space Agency. STS-118 crew members in the middle row, from the left: astronauts Alvin Drew, Barbara R. Morgan and the Canadian Space Agency's Dave Williams, all mission specialists, along with Scott Kelly, commander. STS-118 crewmembers in the back row, from the left: astronaut Charlie Hobaugh, pilot, along with astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Tracy Caldwell, both mission specialists.

Tracy Caldwell brushing her hair--not an easy task as you can see.

Barbara Morgan and her "floating" cheese and meat sandwich

Barbara Morgan at work as payload master with 5,000 pounds of supplies and checklists for keeping track of moving supplies from Endeavour to the ISS and taking trash and other supplies from the ISS to Endeavour to return for recycling on Earth.

Rick Mastracchio during his third EVA (ExtraVehicular Activity --otherwise called a "spacewalk".)

Sunday, Aug. 19, 2007: 7:56am

Change of Plans and Reworking of Timelines for the STS-118 Crew's Mission.

Today is the 11th day in space for Endeavour's crew since their launch on Aug. 8th.

As I write, with NASA-TV playing on my computer, I am watching the successful undocking of Space Shuttle Endeavour from the International Space Station at 7:56 a.m. EDT today, Sunday, August 19. This ends an almost nine-day stay docked at the orbiting International Space Station (ISS) for the STS-118 crew. At the time of undocking both vehicles were over the South Pacific Ocean at an altitude of 214 statute miles. The Commander of the ISS did the traditional ringing of the ship's bell and the Commanders of both crews spoke to one another giving thanks, bidding farewell and wishing each other safe travels. They are moving in a SW to NE orbital path, cruising into an orbital sunrise over South America.

As undocking occurs, Endeavour is backing away at about 10 feet per second and will then move to a position 400 feet above and in front of the ISS. They will then fire thruster engines for two "separation burns" (4 second durations) and will then quickly move away from the ISS moving into Endeavour's own orbital path. (If Vermont's skies are clear tonight and Monday night, you will be able to look for both the ISS and Endeavour transiting across our night sky.)

Due to the early undocking, the STS-118 crew will not do a fly-around of the station. However, astronauts Tracy Caldwell and Rick Mastracchio and Charlie Hobaugh will work the robotic arm to image Endeavour's starboard wing (right side). After a few hours Barbara Morgan will then take over for Rick Mastracchio and will operate the robotic arm with Tracy Caldwell to image Endeavour's nose cone. Barbara Morgan, Dayffd Williams and Charlie Hobaugh will then image the port wing of Endeavour. In particular, they are examining the Reinforced Carbon Carbon material on the leading edge of the wings and nose cone. The 3-D images will be downloaded to Mission Control and teams of engineers and other mission folks will assess all the images and Endeavour's thermal protection system (TPS) during their review meetings on Monday. They will also be doing comparative analysis of the images from today as well as those made on Flight Day 2 during Monday's review meetings. If necessary they can make any further decisions or revisions regarding landing plans.

Endeavour is currently scheduled to return to Earth one day earlier than planned, with landing now scheduled for this Tuesday afternoon, August 21. The first landing opportunity is currently scheduled for 12:32 pm EDT. Earth's weather system has played, and will continue to play, a major role in this decision. Endeavour will hopefully land at KSC in Florida or could possibly be diverted to either White Sands, New Mexico or Edwards Airforce Base in California--or another global 3-mile runway. Hurricane Dean is playing a role in these related decisions in case the hurricane threatens the Houston area which is where Mission Control at Johnson Space Flight Center is located. The mission managers are continuing to monitor the situation and assess their options and will make decisions accordingly with crew safety always front and center in their minds and decision making.

The ISS with it's crew of three, one astronaut and two cosmonauts, will remain in continuous orbit. Today is US Astronaut Clay Anderson's 72nd day in space and 70th aboard the ISS. For the two Russian cosmonauts, it's the 133rd day aboard the ISS and their 135th continuous day in space.

Endeavour and it's crew delivered the Starboard 5 (S5) truss segment to the space station. The STS-118 crew conducted four spacewalks at the station. The two major mission objectives were the installation of the S5 truss and the replacement of a failed attitude control gyroscope which were completed. Two education downlinks were completed by Barbara Morgan and crew members as well as interviews with the media. Additionally a Ham radio communication with the elementary school where Barbara Morgan last taught her students in McCall, Idaho was also successfully accomplished. I was told by my friend who was at the school during the Ham radio contact that it was too bad we couldn't see the students' and teachers' faces as they talked to Barbara Morgan. As you can imagine, there were very large smiles and beaming faces as they spoke to "their" teacher.

Endeavour in low Earth orbit with her payload bay doors open showing the Destiny docking node which attaches to the International Space Station. Crew members transfer from one spacecraft to the other through Destiny.

Here are 2 essays on the STS-118 mission that I'd like to share with you:

The first is on NASA's website. It is by Ed Campion, who was a NASA public affairs officer working on the Teacher in Space program. Link.

The second essay, by Rich Cooper, a former NASA employee and the proud son of a retired teacher, follows below.

A Full Circle Promise

by Rich Cooper

A promise made twenty-two years ago will be realized this summer as America's first educator astronaut soars into space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor.

After the loss of the Space Shuttle Challenger in January 1986, seven families and a grieving nation were heartbroken. Challenger had the most diverse crew in spaceflight history and the nation had never experienced the loss of a spacecraft in flight before. The national grief was only compounded as classrooms around the US and world awaited a high-school teacher from Concord, New Hampshire to teach them from onboard the Shuttle.

Part of the team that readied the Challenger crew was a teacher from McCall-Donnelly Elementary School in Idaho. Selected as the back-up to Christa McAuliffe, America's first teacher in space, Barbara Morgan trained alongside Christa and the Challenger crew and would be at the ready should she be called upon.

Following the tragedy, Barbara took on the unfulfilled duties of Christa, the Challenger crew and the Teacher in Space program, working with students and teachers whenever and wherever she could to help them understand that through education, hard work and belief in themselves could we reach the stars. They could have found no better teacher.

While she had a promise by then President Reagan and NASA that she would be given the chance to fly aboard the Space Shuttle to fulfill the Teacher in Space mission, Barbara Morgan became something more. Rather than simply be a teacher who went into space, she became a full-fledged astronaut capable of, and responsible for doing many of the things that leave the rest of us on the planet simply astounded. From flying training aircraft at amazing speeds and operating billions of dollars worth of equipment, she has done it all while remaining the person she was from the very beginning--a teacher.

If there is any common denominator to the men and women who have traveled into space, gazed at the stars or built the rockets, computers, telescopes and technologies that make it all happen it is teachers. Without them, no astronaut or astronomer be they Yuri Gagarin, Sally Ride, Edwin Hubble or Carl Sagan would have made the impact they have on our knowledge of who we are or what we are capable of doing. We celebrate all of those mentioned persons and their historic peers as heroes and pathfinders but no hero or pathfinder begins their journey without someone offering direction along the way.

By opening the books, putting the homework on the chalkboard and challenging us to learn more every day, teachers have opened horizons for all of us.

This August onboard Space Shuttle Endeavour and the International Space Station, another inspirational horizon is going to be opened and a teacher will do it again--this time in Earth orbit at 17,500mph. As the world's first Educator Astronaut, Barbara Morgan represents the character, spirit and capacity of teachers everywhere to learn about and share our own potential and she, along with crewmates will show the world once again what 'the right stuff' really means.

Educators around the world could have found no better ambassador of their profession than Barbara and her friend and predecessor, Christa McAuliffe. They are two people who knew the greatest mission in life was unlocking the mind and potential of every person. Their respective spacesuits were simply the uniforms of choice they used to unlock one more opportunity to share the experience of discovery and learning.

While twenty-two years is a long time between 'assignments,' the lessons learned in between and those that will be learned after the Endeavour flight concludes should give us all pause to think and thank those who made the journey possible--our teachers.

Godspeed Endeavour. We are all waiting for class to begin...

NASA-TV's Non-Stop Coverage

    on Thurs., Aug. 16 at 8:51am EDT.
  • Education downlink with Barb Morgan in orbit to the Robert L. Ford NASA Explorer School in Massachusetts on Sunday, Aug. 19 at 7:56 a.m. EDT

How do you brush your teeth in space? What is your favorite space food? How would you compare flying in space to flying on an airplane? Select elementary and middle school students from across the country will have the chance to ask these questions during a live conversation with the day's most famous teacher, educator astronaut Barbara R. Morgan.

This will be a 20-minute live conversation with STS-118 mission specialists Barbara R. Morgan and Rick Mastracchio. From their perch aboard the International Space Station, Morgan and Mastracchio will answer 20 questions from student winners of a national poster contest held by the Challenger Center.

The Challenger Center for Space Science Education was founded in 1986 by the families of the astronauts of the space shuttle Challenger 51-L mission. It is dedicated to the educational spirit of that mission. Challenger Learning Center programs at 48 centers across the country continue the crew's mission of engaging teachers and students in science, mathematics and technology and foster in them an interest to pursue careers in those fields. Over 25,000 teachers and 400,000 students attend workshops and fly simulated missions annually at Challenger Learning Centers.

As part of NASA's commitment to investing in the nation's education programs, NASA allows the shuttle and space station crew members to perform standard-based activities in space to demonstrate basic principles of science, math, engineering and geography. Many of these activities involve video recording and/or still photographic documentation of a crewmember performing demonstrations. Other activities involve crewmembers on board the space station answering questions from students on Earth. NASA is focused on engaging and retaining students in education efforts that encourage their pursuit of disciplines critical to NASA's future engineering, scientific and technical missions.

Contact VSEP or click here for more information about the Challenger Center for Space Science Education and all the Challenger Learning Centers.


This week's NASA Student Opportunities Podcast goes underwater to interview Educator Astronaut Ricky Arnold. Click here to hear Arnold discuss lunar exploration, NASA's Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber and student involvement with the space agency.

On Aug. 6, 2007, Arnold and the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations, (NEEMO) 13 crew began a 10-day undersea mission aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Aquarius Underwater Laboratory.

The crew is testing lunar exploration concepts and long-duration spaceflight medical objectives. The mission comes at an exciting time -- while Arnold is on Aquarius, mission specialist Barbara Morgan is making the first spaceflight of an Educator Astronaut on the STS-118 shuttle mission. Both missions carry with them plant growth chambers used for research related to NASA's Engineering Design Challenge.

Upcoming Educational Downlink with STS-118 Crew:
on TUES., AUG. 14, 2007 AT 2:56PM EDT

The crew of the STS-118 space shuttle mission, including Educator Astronaut Barbara Morgan, will have a space-to-ground conversation with an audience at the Discovery Center of Idaho. The downlink is scheduled to occur on Aug. 14, 2007, at 12:56 p.m. Mountain Time.

The Discovery Center of Idaho is an interactive, hands-on science museum. Located in Boise, the Discovery Center hosts more than 100,000 visitors a year. With more than 160 interactive exhibits, and one-third of the museum dedicated to traveling exhibits, there is always something new and exciting to keep families coming back.

The downlink event will be broadcast live on NASA TV and webcast online. For more information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/ index.html

STS-118 Photos
All photos: NASA


STS-118 launch

Barb- middeck day 2
Flight Day 2: mid-deck

Barb Flight Day 3
Flight Day 3

Endeavour docked
Endeavour docked & Earth

Rick's reflections
EVA 1--Rick M

UPDATED: Monday, August 20, 2007 7:00am

Registration is NOW open for the new NASA Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber (Educators of grades K-12)

NASA and the International Technology Education Association (ITEA) have teamed together to present the NASA Engineering Design Challenge: Lunar Plant Growth Chamber for the 2007-2008 school year.

Click here to register. The first 100,000 educators to register will be able to receive some of the cinnamon basil seeds that are aboard Endeavour with astronaut Barbara Morgan and the crew of mission STS-118. In order to obtain the seeds you must also do the engineering design challenge.

Click here to read more about "STS-118 Mission Specialist Carries Millions of Basil Seeds to Space, Brings Millions More Home for Students to Study"

Contact Vermont Space Education Program if you are interested in a related workshop.

Friday, August 03, 2007 2:15 PM

STS-118/ISS-13A.1 launch moved to Wednesday 8/8

And the schedule slips..... Due to last week's adverse weather affecting the work at the launch pad, the remaining launch preparations will require additional time to complete. After reviewing the schedule to completion, Space Shuttle Program management has decided to move the launch date one day to Wednesday, August 8. The new scheduled launch time is 6:36:39 PM Eastern.

The L-2 day review by the Mission Management Team has also moved to Monday, August 6.

NASA's Web Coverage of Next Space Shuttle Mission

A prelaunch webcast, live blogs, podcasts, pictures and videos highlight NASA's Web coverage of space shuttle Endeavour's STS- 118 mission to the International Space Station. Click here for NASA's continuous online updates.

A live webcast featuring STS-116 astronaut Joan Higginbotham will start the in-depth coverage of the mission at 11:30 a.m. EDT on Aug. 7. A blog will update the countdown beginning about six hours before Endeavour is scheduled to lift off on Aug. 8 at 6:36 p.m. EDT. Originating from NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the blog is the definitive Internet source for information leading up to launch.

During the 11-day mission, Endeavour's crew of seven astronauts will add a segment to the right side of the station's backbone, or truss, deliver 5,000 pounds of supplies and conduct at least three spacewalks to install the new components and to replace one of the station's attitude control gyroscopes. Visitors to NASA's shuttle Web site can read about the crew's progress and watch the spacewalks live from the space station.

As Endeavour's flight wraps up, NASA will offer a blog detailing the spacecraft's return to Earth.

July 30, 2007 MEDIA ADVISORY: 07-093



NASA will start the launch countdown for space shuttle Endeavour's STS-118 mission at 9 p.m. EDT Saturday, Aug. 4, at T-43 hours. The countdown includes 27 hours, 3 minutes of built-in hold time leading to a preferred launch time at 7:02 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Aug. 7.

The launch window extends an additional five minutes. During the 11-day mission to the International Space Station, Endeavour's crew will add another truss segment to the expanding station, install a new gyroscope and add an external spare parts platform.

The flight will have at least three spacewalks. It also will debut a new system that enables docked shuttles to draw electrical power from the station to extend visits to the outpost. If this system functions as expected, three additional days will be added to the STS-118 mission.

Click HERE for a detailed list of launch countdown milestones and times. This mission is the 119th space shuttle flight, the 20th flight for Endeavour and the 22nd U.S. flight to the International Space Station. The mission will be Endeavour's first flight in more than four years. The shuttle has undergone extensive modifications, including the addition of safety upgrades already added to shuttles Discovery and Atlantis.

Click HERE for more information about the STS-118 crew and mission to the space station.

07.30.07 MEDIA ADVISORY: 39-07



NASA has cleared the space shuttle orbiter Endeavour for the scheduled Aug. 7 launch of the STS-118 mission to the International Space Station. Liftoff is slated for 7:02 p.m. EDT. On Friday, Aug. 3, the seven Endeavour crew members are scheduled to arrive at the Kennedy Space Center at 5 p.m. EDT. Commander Scott Kelly will make a brief statement to the media. NASA Television will air live coverage of the arrival and Kelly's remarks. NASA TV also will broadcast live countdown status briefings and news conferences Aug. 4-7.

NASA TV streaming video, scheduling and downlink information is here.
The latest information on the STS-118 mission is here.

(All time are Eastern) All briefings will be carried live on NASA TV unless otherwise noted.

L-4 Days - Friday, Aug. 3
5 p.m. - STS-118 crew arrival at Shuttle Landing Facility

L-3 Days - Saturday, Aug. 4
10 a.m. - Countdown Status Briefing
- Steve Payne, NASA test director
- Scott Higginbotham, STS-118 payload manager
- Kathy Winters, shuttle weather officer 9 p.m. - Launch countdown officially begins (not on NASA TV)

L-2 Days - Sunday, Aug. 5
10 a.m. - Countdown Status Briefing
- Jeff Spaulding, NASA test director
- Scott Higginbotham, STS-118 payload manager
- Kathy Winters, shuttle weather officer 11:30 a.m. - Live Astronaut Webcast with Joan Higginbotham 1 p.m. - Shuttle-Constellation Transition Tour
Highlights facilities being transitioned from the Space Shuttle Program to Constellation
- Jeff Hanley, Constellation Program Manager
- Scott Colloredo, Integrator for Constellation Ground Systems 4 p.m. (no earlier than) - STS-118 Launch Readiness News Conference
- LeRoy Cain, launch integration manager, Space Shuttle Program
- Mike Leinbach, space shuttle launch director
- U.S. Air Force Captain Chris Lovett, 45th Weather Squadron

L-1 Day - Monday, Aug. 6
10 a.m. - Countdown Status Briefing
- Jeff Spaulding, NASA test director
- Kathy Winters, shuttle weather officer 3 p.m. - Education Briefing
- Joyce Winterton, assistant administrator for NASA Education
- Cindy McArthur, lead for Teaching From Space Project
- Marilyn Steinberg, program manager for the Canadian Space Agency's Space Awareness and Learning 10 p.m. - Rotating Service Structure moves to launch position

Launch Day - Tuesday, Aug. 7
9 a.m. - Tanking commentary begins
12:30 p.m. - Live launch commentary begins Launch Day Crew Activities: (times may vary slightly)
8:30 a.m. -- Crew wakes up (not on NASA TV)
12:55 p.m. -- Crew photo opportunity
2:32 p.m. -- Weather briefing (CDR, PLT, MS2) (not on NASA TV)
2:42 p.m. -- Astronauts don flight suits
3:12 p.m. -- Depart for launch pad
3:42 p.m. -- Arrive at white room and begin ingress
4:57 p.m. -- Close crew hatch
7:02 p.m. -- Launch

Launch + 1 hour - Post-launch News Conference
- Michael Griffin, NASA administrator
- Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations
- John Shannon, chairman, Mission Management Team
- Mike Leinbach, space shuttle launch director

It takes a huge team to get a crew of astronauts and a Space Shuttle orbiter launched. This is just one small group at Kennedy Space Center (KSC)--some of the many people involved in the STS-118 mission. Go Endeavour!

STS-118 patch

STS-118 Crew Patch

The STS-118 crew patch represents Space Shuttle Endeavour on its mission to help complete the assembly of the International Space Station and symbolizes the pursuit of knowledge through space exploration.

The flight will accomplish its ISS 13A.1 assembly tasks through a series of spacewalks, robotic operations, logistics transfers and the exchange of one of the three long-duration expedition crew members.

On the patch, the top of the gold astronaut symbol overlays the starboard S-5 truss segment, highlighting its installation during the mission. The flame of knowledge represents the importance of education, and honors teachers and students everywhere. The seven white stars and the red maple leaf signify the American and Canadian crew members flying aboard Endeavour.

Space Shuttle Endeavour's STS-118 mission is the 22nd shuttle flight to the International Space Station. It will continue space station construction by delivering a third starboard truss segment. It's also the first flight of an Educator Astronaut, Mission Specialist Barbara Morgan.

U.S. Navy Commander Scott Kelly will command the six-person crew of STS-118. U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col Charles Hobaugh will be Endeavour's pilot. Veteran astronauts Richard Mastracchio and Dr. Dafydd (Dave) Williams of the Canadian Space Agency will be returning to space for their second missions. Morgan and Tracy Caldwell round out the crew as mission specialists.

Read the Dec. 12, 2002, press release.
Read the May 17, 2006, press release.

STS-118 will deliver the S5 Truss and will be the twenty-second mission to the International Space Station.

Click here for online education resources related to this mission.

CREW PROFILES (7 crew members)

Scott Kelly, Commander
View biography

Charles Hobaugh, Pilot
View biography

Dave Williams, Mission Specialist
View biography

Barbara Morgan, Mission Specialist
View biography

Richard Mastracchio, Mission Specialist
View biography

Tracy Caldwell, Mission Specialist
View biography

Benjamin Alvin Drew will be joining the ISS crew, replacing Suni Williams.

Benjamin Drew, Mission Specialist
View biography

A Day in the Life of Barbara Morgan (Read this. It's great.)

Barbara R. Morgan, was Christa McAuliffe’s “back up space flight teacher participant.” (Both Christa and Barbara were from NASA’s Teacher in Space Program.) After the Challenger tragedy, Barbara Morgan assumed the duties as the Teacher in Space Designee. She is now a fully trained astronaut and official member of NASA’s Astronaut Corps, and the first Educator Astronaut. (Astronaut Class of 1998.)

Morgan has numerous assignments and is currently training for her flight to the International Space Station. Morgan, a former 2nd-3rd grade teacher from Idaho, has been waiting and training for 21 years for her flight—but has always wanted to fly into space since she was a kid.

Barbara R. Morgan

This page last updated August 28, 2007.

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