After a nearly 7-hour trip, Space Shuttle Endeavour, atop the mobile launcher platform, is hard down on Launch Pad 39A. First motion out of the Vehicle Assembly Building was at 8:10 p.m. July 10.
The components of the shuttle are, first, the orbiter and then the solid rocket boosters flanking the external tank behind it. Seen below the orbiter's wings are the tail masts, which provide several umbilical connections to the orbiter, including a liquid-oxygen line through one and a liquid-hydrogen line through another.
Endeavour is scheduled to launch on mission STS-118 on Aug. 7. During the mission, Endeavour will carry into orbit the S5 truss, SPACEHAB module and external stowage platform 3. The mission is the 22nd flight to the International Space Station and will mark the first flight of Mission Specialist Barbara Morgan, the teacher-turned-astronaut whose association with NASA began more than 20 years ago. STS-118 will be the first flight since 2002 for Endeavour, which has undergone extensive modifications, including the addition of safety upgrades already added to orbiters Discovery and Atlantis.
Image credit: NASA/George Shelton