Atlantis Countdown Proceeds

December 5, 2007
Atlantis Countdown Proceeds
A technician monitors the closure of the payload bay doors on space shuttle Atlantis during launch preparations at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. The European-built Columbus laboratory is bolted inside the cargo bay and will be attached to the International Space Station during mission STS-122. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton

The launch team at NASA's Kennedy Space Center is continuing its steady march toward a lift off Thursday afternoon for space shuttle Atlantis. The countdown is proceeding smoothly, NASA Test Director Jeff Spaulding said Wednesday.

Mission STS-122 is scheduled to launch at 4:31 p.m. EST from NASA's Florida launch base. Atlantis will carry the European-developed Columbus laboratory and attach it to the International Space Station. Seven astronauts, including two from the European Space Agency, will fly aboard Atlantis.

Technicians and engineers at the launch pad have several steps ahead of them Wednesday. The most visible milestone will come in the evening when the Rotating Service Structure is moved to its launch position where it will be out of the way of Atlantis. The gantry encloses much of the shuttle while it is on the launch pad and gives workers access to critical areas of the shuttle and its payload.

The weather forecast calls for a 90 percent chance of acceptable conditions at launch time.

"The vehicle's looking good and the weather's looking good, too," Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters said.

Source: NASA

Explore further: Challenger, Columbia wreckage on public display for 1st time

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Peeking into our galaxy's stellar nursery

October 5, 2015

Astronomers have long turned their telescopes, be they on satellites in space or observatories on Earth, to the wide swaths of interstellar medium to get a look at the formation and birth of stars. However, the images produced ...

Researchers find a new way to weigh a star

October 5, 2015

Researchers from the University of Southampton have developed a new method for measuring the mass of pulsars – highly magnetised rotating neutron stars formed from the remains of massive stars after they explode into supernovae.

How to prepare for Mars? NASA consults Navy sub force

October 5, 2015

As NASA contemplates a manned voyage to Mars and the effects missions deeper into space could have on astronauts, it's tapping research from another outfit with experience sending people to the deep: the U.S. Navy submarine ...


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.