Atlantis countdown testing begins

February 21, 2007

The final countdown testing in preparation for the March 15 launch of space shuttle Atlantis began Wednesday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the flight crew of mission STS-117 will participate in the full launch dress rehearsal that continues through Friday. Such tests typically take place a few weeks prior to a launch and provide the crew an opportunity to participate in various simulated countdown activities, including equipment familiarization and emergency egress training.

Atlantis arrived at Launch Pad 39A last week from the Vehicle Assembly Building where it was mated with its external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters. The orbiter's launch will be the first from Pad 39A in four years.

During countdown tests, the shuttle will undergo final testing, payload installation and a "hot fire" test of auxiliary power units. When testing is completed, the rotating service structure will be moved around the vehicle for protection.

During the 11-day mission to the international space station, the six-member crew will install a new truss segment, retract a set of solar arrays and unfold a new set.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: USAF High Throughput Tactical Satcom takes flight in stunning Florida sunset blastoff

Related Stories

With one year to Jupiter, NASA's Juno team prepares

July 8, 2015

With just one year remaining in a five-year trek to Jupiter, the team of NASA's Juno mission is hard at work preparing for the spacecraft's expedition to the solar system's largest planet. The mission aims to reveal the story ...

MILA tracks its last launch and landing

July 8, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- With its beginnings rooted deeply in the historic days of Apollo, the MILA Spaceflight Tracking and Data Network Station has played a key role throughout the 30 years of the Space Shuttle Program. But just ...

Recommended for you

Prawn Nebula: Cosmic recycling

September 2, 2015

Dominating this image is part of the nebula Gum 56, illuminated by the hot bright young stars that were born within it. For millions of years stars have been created out of the gas in this nebula, material which is later ...

Comet Hitchhiker would take tour of small bodies

September 2, 2015

Catching a ride from one solar system body to another isn't easy. You have to figure out how to land your spacecraft safely and then get it on its way to the next destination. The landing part is especially tricky for asteroids ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.