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STS-88 Liftoff Status Page

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Shuttle Endeavour Launch Status

December 4, 1998 3:35:34 a.m. EST (8:35:34 GMT). 5-10 minute launch window.

On Thursday, December 4, 1998 the launch countdown continued on schedule with only a slight delay in the tart of tanking. The crew departed the Operations and Checkout Building shortly after midnight and proceeded to Pad 39-A. The hatch was closed and locked for flight at approximately 1:10 am EST. At 2:29am EST the countdown clock came out of the hold at the T-minus 20 minute mark beginning the terminal portion of the launch countdown. At 2:41am EST the countdown clock entered a 45 minute hold at the T-minus 9 minute mark. During this time the shuttle launch director conducted a poll of the launch team and all systems were ready for flight. At 3:33am the Orbiter Access Arm was retracted and the command was given to the crew to close and lock their visors. Liftoff occured exactly ontime at 3:35:34am EST (8:34am GMT).

On Wednesday, December 3, 1998 the launch attempt for a 3:58am EST launch was scrubbed at the T-minus 19 second mark after a smooth countdown. After arriving at the pad, the crew proceeded to the 195ft level where one by one, they ingressed into the orbiter. The hatch was closed at 01:56 am EST. At 3:42am EST, in a poll of the launch team by NTD during the T-minus 9 minute mark, all systems were go for launch except a constraint due to RTLS weather. A go was given to come out of the hold as scheduled and countdown to the T-minus 5 minute mark.

At 3:49am EST, a go was given for RTLS weather and the countdown clock proceeded thru the optional hold at the T-minus 5 minute mark. The Orbiter Access Arm (OAA) was retracted at 3:51am EST at T-minus 7 minutes. At T-minus 4 minutes 24 seconds a master alarm in the crew cabin was noted and the countdown clock automatically stopped the clock at a built in hold at the T-minus 4 minute mark. The alarm was due to pressure on Hydraulic System #1 temporarily registering below 2800 psi during its startup transition from low to high.

The launch countdown was then held at the T-31 second mark to further assess the situation. Shuttle system engineers attempted to quickly completed an assessment of the suspect hydraulic system and eventually gave an initial "go" to resume the countdown. With only seconds to respond, launch controllers were unable to resume the countdown clock in time to launch within the allotted remaining indow, which was limited due to liquid oxygen (Lox) drain-back constraints. Managers are discussing the 24-hour launch turn-around plans and are expected to make a final determination later this morning.

On Wednesday, December 2, 1998 Endeavour's inertial measurement units were activated and film installed in numerous cameras on the launch pad. The orbiter's communications systems were activated at 2:30 a.m. and safety personnel conducted debris walk downs. Flight crew equipment late stow began at 6 a.m. and the Rotating Service Structure (RSS) was moved to the park position at around 8 a.m. EST. Loading the external tank with about 500,000 gallons of cryogenic propellants began at about 6:40 p.m and completed by 9:30pm EST..

On Tuesday, December 1, 1998 Shuttle Endeavour's payload bay closeouts were complete and the doors are closed for flight. The orbiter's backup flight systems have been tested and load tests on the Shuttle's data processing system are complete. Loading of cryogenic reactants into Endeavour's power reactant storage and distribution system concluded early this afternoon. The orbiter midbody umbilical unit was demated and retracted into the Fixed Service Structure at Pad 39A. The orbiter's navigation system self tests and main engine final preparations were also completed. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 12/01/1998)

On Monday, November 30, 1998, the crew arrived at the Kennedy Space Center around midnight EST and the launch countdown began on schedule at 7 a.m. in KSC Firing Room 3. Workers finished final payload bay closeouts and the payload bay doors were closed for flight. Air Force weather forecasters are indicating a 60 percent chance that weather could prohibit launch on Dec. 3. The threat of low cloud ceilings and showers are the primary concern. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 11/30/1998)

On Monday, November 23, 1998, Shuttle and International Space Station (ISS) managers gathered at KSC for the Flight Readiness Review (FRR). After reviewing Space Shuttle system and ISS topics, managers announced Dec. 3 as the official STS-88 launch date. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 11/23/1998)

On Friday, November 6, 1998, at Launch Pad 39A, the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) concluded at about 11 a.m. Crew members successfully conducted a launch day dress rehearsal complete with an orbiter crew compartment ingress and simulated main engine cut-off at T-5 seconds. The crew then practiced emergency egress procedures assisted by the KSC close-out crew. The crew departs KSC today at about 2:15 p.m. headed for their homes in Houston, TX. Orbiter inertial measurement unit calibration occurs today and preparations for payload interface verification testing are in work. The Unity connecting module will be installed in the orbiter's cargo bay Nov. 13. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 11/06/1998)

On Thursday, 11/5/98 At Launch Pad 39A, Endeavour's helium signature leak tests and secondary payload tests are complete. Gaseous nitrogen servicing of the orbiter's water spray boiler No. 3 and main engine testing occur this week. The STS-88 flight crew is at KSC to participate in the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test. Crew members are being briefed on orbiter and payload activities, practicing emergency escape procedures and conducting a full dress rehearsal of launch day activities on Friday. The countdown test culminates with a simulated main engine cutoff at 11 a.m. tomorrow. The Unity connecting module will be installed in orbiter's cargo bay Nov. 13. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 11/05/1998)

On Wednesday, October 21, 1998, Shuttle Endeavour is now hard down on Launch Pad 39A. The Shuttle began its 3.4-mile trip from the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to the pad at about 2:18 a.m. today. Launch pad validations are under way and tonight workers will conduct a planned hot fire of Endeavour's auxiliary power units No. 1 and No. 3. The Rotating Service Structure will be extended around the vehicle early Thursday morning and main engine flight readiness testing follows later in the day. The Unity Connecting Module payload arrives at the pad Monday for installation in the pad's payload changeout room. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 10/21/1998)

On Thursday, 10/15/98 Endeavour was mounted on the orbiter transfer vehicle yesterday and began first motion to the Vehicle Assembly Building at 6:18 a.m. today. The orbiter is currently located in the VAB transfer aisle and will be mated to the STS-88 external tank and solid rocket boosters in VAB high bay 3 later today. The Shuttle Interface Test will be conducted through Monday and the entire Shuttle stack will roll out to Launch Pad 39A on Wednesday beginning at 7 a.m. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 10/15/1998)

On Monday, 7/6/98, Endeavour's forward multiplexer demultiplexer and its dedicated signal conditioner are being replaced. Corrosion repair on the main engine heat shield attach points continues. Technicians are working to replace a pyrotechnic electrical harness on the orbiter's fire protection system. Testing of Endeavour's power reactant storage and distribution system is scheduled this week. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 7/06/1998)

On Monday, 6/22/98, Endeavour's water spray boiler checks were complete. Connection of the right hand OMS pod oxidizer transfer lines were complete and the fuel transfer lines will be connected later this week. Main engine heat shield attach point rework begins this week and today workers will conduct checks of the fuel cell No. 3 water relief panel. (Reference KSC Shuttle Status 6/22/1998)

Node 1 arrived at Kennedy Space Center.(KSC) Shuttle Landing Facility aboard an Air Force C-5 air cargo plane on Monday, June 23 at 12:15 a.m. The node will be offloaded from the aircraft at 6 p.m. that evening and transported to the Space Station Processing Facility (SSPF). (Reference KSC Press Release 93-97)

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