Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Next Up: Atlantis

Wednesday, September 23, 2009
At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians are preparing space shuttle Atlantis for its move from Orbiter Processing Facility-1 to the Vehicle Assembly Building, or VAB, next month.

Final preparations in the shuttle's aft section are complete and crews are working on the forward sections now. The main landing gear is set to be leak tested and the hydraulic fluid level will be checked today.

Battery installation and testing for the wing leading edge sensors is ongoing. The sensors help monitor the reinforced carbon carbon heat shield panels on the shuttle’s wings for possible debris impacts. The payload bay doors will be closed Friday for rollover.

Meanwhile in the VAB, Atlantis' external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters have been stacked on the mobile launcher platform in High Bay 2.

NASA Ramps Up for the STS-129 Mission

As space shuttle Discovery is checked out and processed following the STS-128 mission, NASA is preparing shuttle Atlantis for its next flight to the International Space Station.

The STS-129 mission will be commanded by Charlie Hobaugh and piloted by Barry Wilmore. Mission Specialists are Robert Satcher, Mike Foreman, Randy Bresnik and Leland Melvin. Wilmore, Satcher and Bresnik will be making their first trips to space.

Atlantis and its crew will deliver parts to the space station, including a spare gyroscope. The mission will feature three spacewalks.

Atlantis also will return station crew member Nicole Stott to Earth, as this is slated to be the final space shuttle crew rotation flight.


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