NCESSE received a de-brief this evening from NanoRacks and ITA regarding the plan for moving forward with payload flight readiness. We are now proceeding under the assumption of a May 8 launch.
The MDA mini-laboratory will be flushed of all existing experiment samples and sterilized on Monday May 2. The reload of experiment samples will begin Thursday evening, May 5, and is expected to be completed by midnight EDT Friday May 6. At 7:00 am EDT Saturday, May 7, the payload will be turned over to NASA for Shuttle integration.
ITA and NanoRacks expect that NASA will provide a more definitive statement regarding a May 8 launch, or a delay beyond May 8, before the MDA refill is scheduled to begin. Live video coverage of the MDA refill at the payload processing lab will begin Friday morning, May 6, on the Video Coverage of STS-134 page at the SSEP Community Network Hubsite.
NanoRacks and ITA have re-assessed the status of the experiment samples in storage at the payload processing lab for all 16 flight experiments (the extra samples submitted by the student flight teams for up to two reloads of the mini-lab). The samples for 10 experiments were deemed to be perishable or potentially perishable, and conversations with the Teacher Facilitators last week in light of the 72-hour scrub, and this weekend, in light of the now at least one week delay, have led to 9 teams planning or considering shipment of fresh samples to the lab.
The following flight experiment teams (with their Teacher Facilitator identified) are shipping fresh samples: 1) Orange County, FL (Lynn Mederos), 2) Jefferson County, KY (Imogen Herrick), 3) Zachary, LA (Circe Bridges: attempting to get new samples), 4) St. Mary’s County, MD (Sue Lewis), 5) Harry Burke, Omaha, NE (Amy Melvin: only honey being shipped), 6) Ballston Spa, NY (Diane Irwin: attempting to get new samples), 7) Guilford County, NC (Lenny Sue French: use existing, but understands there is an opportunity to get fresh samples), 8 ) El Paso, TX (Maria Alvarez), and 9) Canyons School District, UT (Jonathan Miller).
ALL NEW SAMPLES **MUST** ARRIVE AT THE LAB AT KSC NO LATER THAN THURSDAY MORNING, MAY 5. FEDEX DELIVERY BY 10:30 AM IS ACCEPTABLE.
Shelton, CT (Mary Clark) has determined that the reload samples already at the lab can be used.
The following 6 student experiments were deemed by NanoRacks and ITA to use samples that were non-perishable and the lab is proceeding under the assumption that the reload samples already at the lab can be used: 1) Broward County, FL (Melissa Keefe), 2) Lincolnwood, IL (Sharon Churchwell), 3) Omaha North, NE (Susan Loder), 4) CCSD, NM (Amy John), 5) Portland, OR (Jennifer Kelley), and 6) Seattle, WA (Eric Muhs).
All Teacher Facilitators are advised to review the summary above and contact NCESSE if there are any concerns or discrepancies in the planning described.