Space Shuttle Atlantis Arrives at Launch Pad

November 12, 2007

After safely reaching its launch pad Saturday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the space shuttle Atlantis now awaits its next major milestone for the upcoming STS-122 mission. The full launch dress rehearsal is scheduled from Nov. 18 to 20 at Kennedy.

The shuttle arrived at the pad about 11 a.m. EST Saturday on top of a giant vehicle called the crawler-transporter. The crawler-transporter began carrying Atlantis out of Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building at 4:43 a.m., traveling less than 1 mph during the 3.4 mile journey. Atlantis achieved hard down and was firmly on the launch pad at 11:51 a.m.

Atlantis is targeted to launch Dec. 6 on an 11-day mission to the International Space Station. The shuttle's seven crew members will deliver the European Space Agency's Columbus Laboratory to the International Space Station and bring a new crew member to the station and return another to Earth.

Atlantis’ crew members are Commander Steve Frick, Pilot Alan Poindexter and mission specialists Leland Melvin, Rex Walheim, Stanley Love, and Hans Schlegel and Léopold Eyharts of the European Space Agency. Eyharts will replace current Expedition 16 Flight Engineer Daniel Tani. Eyharts will return to Earth aboard STS-123, which is targeted to launch Feb. 14, 2008.Tani will return to Earth aboard Atlantis. He launched to the station with the STS-120 crew.

The STS-122 astronauts and ground crews will participate in a launch dress rehearsal, known as the terminal countdown demonstration test, or TCDT. The test provides each shuttle crew with an opportunity to participate in various simulated countdown activities, including equipment familiarization and emergency training. STS-122 is the 121st space shuttle flight, the 29th flight for space shuttle Atlantis and the 24th flight to the station.

Source: NASA

Explore further: NASA's new commercial crew astronauts: Each wants to fly first

Related Stories

Looking back at the Mir space station

June 18, 2015

The Mir Space Station was Russia's greatest space station, and the first modular space station to be assembled in orbit. Commissioned in 1986, the name can be translated from Russian as "peace", "world", and even "village" ...

Recommended for you

First detection of lithium from an exploding star

July 29, 2015

The chemical element lithium has been found for the first time in material ejected by a nova. Observations of Nova Centauri 2013 made using telescopes at ESO's La Silla Observatory, and near Santiago in Chile, help to explain ...

Dense star clusters shown to be binary black hole factories

July 29, 2015

The coalescence of two black holes—a very violent and exotic event—is one of the most sought-after observations of modern astronomy. But, as these mergers emit no light of any kind, finding such elusive events has been ...

New names and insights at Ceres

July 29, 2015

Colorful new maps of Ceres, based on data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft, showcase a diverse topography, with height differences between crater bottoms and mountain peaks as great as 9 miles (15 kilometers).

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.