Hi folks, unfortunately, I was not able to follow Atlantis launch processing closely since early this year. But now I'd like to at least convey the fact that space shuttle Atlantis finally had a good launch and is on its way to the international space station ISS. Let me quote the NASA homepage for now:
With Atlantis safely attaining orbit, NASA mission managers gave the command to proceed with main engine cutoff, or MECO, and the giant orange tank that provided fuel for the climb into space has been jettisoned. As the tank falls away and descends toward Earth, its onboard cameras record the process.I hope I will soon be able to provide the usual coverage of what's going on with space launches again. Stay tuned ;)
Atlantis' next stop: the International Space Station.
Cheers and shouts could be heard throughout the space center as Atlantis, carrying the STS-122 crew and Columbus Laboratory, roared off the launch pad into the mid-afternoon sky to begin the 24th mission to the International Space Station.
NASA astronaut Steve Frick commands a crew of six, including Pilot Alan Poindexter and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Rex Walheim, Stanley Love and the European Space Agency's Hans Schlegel and Leopold Eyharts. This is the first spaceflight for Poindexter, Love and Melvin.
During the 11-day mission, the crew's prime objective is to attach the European Space Agency's Columbus Laboratory to the International Space Station, adding to the station's size and capabilities.
Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Daniel Tani, who arrived at the station aboard Discovery in October, will return to Earth with the Atlantis crew as Eyharts takes his place on the station.
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