Atlantis countdown testing begins

Feb 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: Now comes the SpaceX rocket whodunit: A complex mystery

Related Stories

100 days to Andreas Mogensen's mission

May 25, 2015

The 100-day countdown begins today for ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen's visit to the International Space Station. Following launch on 1 September, he will test new technologies and deliver a fresh spacecraft ...

Recommended for you

Early Titan was a cold, hostile place for life

6 hours ago

Titan is a mysterious orange-socked moon of Saturn that is exciting to astrobiologists because it has some of the same kinds of chemicals that were precursors to life on Earth. It also has a hydrological ...

Image: Spirals in Saturn's D Ring

7 hours ago

Although the D ring of Saturn is so thin that it's barely noticeable compared to the rest of the ring system, it still displays structures seen in other Saturnian rings. Here the spiral structures in the ...

Russian cosmonaut sets record for most time in space

7 hours ago

Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who is the current commander of the International Space Station, has set a new record for most time spent in space, with a total of 803 days, Russian space agency said Tuesday.

User comments : 0

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.