San Francisco (CA) - NASA officials have rescheduled the launch of space shuttle Endeavour's STS-127 mission for 5:40 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 17. The national space agency postponed Endeavour's original June 13 liftoff date due to concerns over a leak associated with the gaseous hydrogen venting system outside the shuttle's external fuel tank.
Endeavour's 16-day STS-127 mission to the International Space Station will feature five spacewalks and allow astronauts to complete the construction of Japan's Kibo laboratory. Endeavour crew members are expected to assist with the installation of a platform outside the Japanese module that will facilitate the safe exposure of experiments in space.
However, Endeavour's June 17 liftoff has prompted NASA to shift the LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) and LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite) Atlas V launch date to June 18.
The unmanned LRO exploration mission will spend a year above a lunar polar orbit of approximately 31 miles, while LCROSS will search for water ice by sending the spent upper-stage Centaur rocket to impact part of a polar crater and measuring subsequent impact dust.