Sunday, November 11, 2007

Atlantis at the Pad; all good for December 6th launch

The Atlantic ocean is the backdrop for Space Shuttle Atlantis' seaside launch pad.Quicker than I thought here comes the first real post:

Space Shuttle Atlantis was moved successfully to the launch pad. As with all future shuttle missions, pad 39A will be used for all launches. Next summer, after the Hubble service mission, pad 39B will be reconstructed to be used for the Ares launches.

With Atlantis being at the pad, everything is doing well. So the STS-122 mission is likely to be scheduled on time on December, 6th. But be careful, we need to watch work carried out at the international space station ISS closely -- it will be required to support Atlantis' launch.

Some more details on the current status can also be found in this NASA quote:

Space shuttle Atlantis made an important step toward space on Saturday morning when engineers and technicians rolled the launch-ready stack to Launch Pad 39A. Atlantis is scheduled to stay at the pad for about three weeks undergoing final preparations for its mission STS-122 targeted to begin Dec. 6.

The mammoth crawler-transporter began moving the stack to the pad at 4:43 a.m. EST. The 3-mile trip took approximately six hours and was hard down at 11:51 a.m.

The Columbus laboratory was waiting at the launch pad when Atlantis arrived and the module will soon be placed inside the shuttle's cargo bay where it will undergo its own series of tests and preparations for launch.

Atlantis' crew of seven includes two European Space Agency astronauts who will help install Columbus on the International Space Station and activate its intricate systems. One of the ESA crew members will remain on the station for a long-duration mission.

This launch milestone comes less than a week after space shuttle Discovery returned to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to complete mission STS-120. That mission delivered the Harmony module to the station and will be the connecting point at the station for Columbus.

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