Thanks to YouTube, the space shuttle Endeavour's last crew will be available for questions live, while they are in orbit.
NASA announced a partnership with YouTube that will allow people to send in questions, in the form of short video clips, to PBS's Miles O'Brien, who will direct them to the Endeavour crew live from space. The whole process will be streamed live on PBS' Newshour YouTube Channel.
The interview is scheduled for Monday May 2 at 2:15 p.m. ET. However, it could be rescheduled if the Endeavour mission is running late. The deadline for submitting a question will be April 30 at midnight ET. YouTube users will vote on which questions they want to see answered.
Meanwhile, NASA's Program Mission Management Team voted unanimously to proceed toward Endeavour's scheduled liftoff at 3:47 p.m. EDT Friday. Everything is ready to go, according to shuttle launch director Mike Leinbach.
The countdown for Endeavour's final mission is going extremely well. The launch pad right now is cleared in preparation for loading the cryogenics fuels for the fuel cell system, Leinbach said.
The mission will be the 134th overall for the space shuttle program and the 25th for Endeavour. Since 1981, the space shuttle program has helped launch satellites and space probes, gather information about the solar system and made history many times. After Endeavour, there will be one more space shuttle trip to space, the Atlantis, and that will be that.
The last launch of the Endeavour space shuttle will also feature Commander Mark Kelly, husband of congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was nearly shot to death earlier this year. Both Giffords and President Barack Obama will be in attendance as Endeavour makes its final journey into space.
The 14-day mission will see the crew of the Endeavour deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) and spare parts including two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank, additional spare parts for the mechanical arm Dextre to the International Space Station. After it finishes up, NASA will conclude the space shuttle program with the Atlantis. Following that, the three remaining space shuttles and a fourth prototype will head to museums across the country.