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Countdown Proceeds Smoothly


  	*Countdown Proceeds Smoothly; First Lady Calls Barbara Morgan*
*Launch Date:* Aug. 8
*Launch Time:* 6:36 p.m. EDT

Image above: Pilot Charlie Hobaugh exits the shuttle training aircraft 
after a training session at Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing 
Facility. He and STS-118 Commander Scott Kelly were at the facility to 
practice landings for their upcoming mission. Photo credit: NASA
+ View Full Size Image 

*08.07.07 - 10:20 a.m. EDT*
On the morning before the scheduled liftoff of Space Shuttle Endeavour 
on the STS-118 mission, launch officials confirmed once again that the 
countdown is continuing as planned and no issues have surfaced.

Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters provided an updated forecast, 
which has improved even further to only a 20% chance that isolated rain 
showers could prohibit launch on Wednesday afternoon.
+ L-1 Weather Forecast 

Mission STS-118 will be the first for Mission Specialist Barbara Morgan, 
the teacher-turned-astronaut whose association with NASA began more than 
20 years ago. First Lady Laura Bush called Morgan Tuesday morning to 
offer congratulations "one schoolteacher to another," and to thank her 
for her commitment to the space program and to education.
+ White House News Release 

On Monday night, workers finished loading the reactants for the 
orbiter's three power-producing fuel cells. Checks of the space shuttle 
main engine's avionics and pneumatic systems are planned today, along 
with inspections of the external tank, activation of ground support 
equipment, and crew equipment stowage in the crew module. Orbiter and 
ground communications systems will be powered up Tuesday afternoon prior 
to retraction of the pad's rotating service structure, scheduled to 
begin at 9 p.m. EDT.

The 22nd flight to the International Space Station, STS-118 will be the 
first flight for Endeavour since 2002. Launch remains on target for Aug. 
8 at 6:36 p.m. EDT

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