Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Atlantis and Crew Move Closer to Launch Day

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.

Technicians on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida continue final checks of systems in the aft section on space shuttle Atlantis.

Installation work also continues for the shuttle's engine acoustic environment testing equipment. The equipment will record the sound pressure and vibration at liftoff -- which recently were determined to be stronger than originally thought.

Testing of the main engine acoustic environment equipment using microphones and sensors is scheduled to wrap up tomorrow.

The STS-129 mission's six astronauts are now in quarantine in a germ-free environment at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston until they fly to Kennedy on Thursday morning. They will practice final integrated ascent techniques in the motion base simulator and review camera equipment in crew quarters today.

Liftoff of Atlantis' flight to the International Space Station is set for 2:28 p.m. EST Nov. 16. The countdown to launch begins 1 p.m. Friday.

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