Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Space Shuttle information

Space shuttle Atlantis began its move from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 6:38 a.m. EDT. The 3.4-mile journey of the crawler-transporter with the shuttle stacked on top is expected to take about six hours.

At NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, the STS-129 astronauts are rehearsing orbit maneuvers today in the fixed base simulator.

The simulator mimics the dials and controls of the shuttle along with monitors that animate a view from outside the shuttle's window. Johnson technicians program the simulator's software to throw various problem situations at the crew to make sure they can cope with anything while in flight.

Meanwhile, the Space Shuttle Program's Flight Readiness Review, or FRR, is scheduled for Oct. 20 and 21. The executive-level FRR with NASA managers to set an official launch date is planned for Oct. 29 and will be held at Kennedy.

Preparations for STS-129 Mission

The STS-129 mission will be commanded by Charles O. Hobaugh and piloted by Barry E. Wilmore. Mission Specialists are Robert L. Satcher Jr., 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 two control moment gyroscopes, equipment and EXPRESS Logistics Carrier 1 and 2 to the International Space Station. The mission will feature three spacewalks.

Atlantis also will return station crew member Nicole Stott to Earth and is slated to be the final space shuttle crew rotation flight. Launch of Atlantis on the STS-129 mission is targeted for 4:04 p.m. EST Nov. 12.

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