Friday, November 16, 2007

Atlantis still set for December, 6th launch...

The ISS' Columbus module is moved into space shuttle AtlantisI just found this nice picture of the Columbus module being moved into Atlantis' cargo bay on the NASA shuttle home page. It was taken some days ago. I thought it is worth sharing.
Processing flow on Atlantis is still going smooth, the launch is so far on-schedule for December, 6th. This is confirmed by NASA's latest statement on the home page:

Space shuttle Atlantis will be the stage for the countdown dress rehearsal next week as preparations for mission STS-122 continue toward a targeted Dec. 6 launch. The rehearsal is known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test or TCDT.

The seven astronauts who will fly the mission are due to arrive at NASA's Kennedy Space Center over the weekend for several days of in-depth training.

A practice countdown that includes all the normal launch day activities except the liftoff itself will be conducted on the last day of the crew's visit. Afterward, the crew will return to Houston.

A program-level review of Atlantis and the European-built Columbus module it will carry was conducted Tuesday. A poll taken at the end of the session called for processing to continue. A second review will be held Nov. 30, and NASA will formally select a launch date.

Please note that "formal selection of the launch date" is NASA speak and in this case most probably means sticking with the originally scheduled December 6th date.

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