Atlantis 'Go' For Launch to Station on Nov. 16

October 29, 2009
STS-129 Mission Specialist Robert L. Satcher Jr. participates in an Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or EMU, spacesuit fit check in the Space Station Airlock Test Article in the Crew Systems Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Photo credit: NASA/JSC

( -- NASA's space shuttle Atlantis is targeted to begin an 11-day flight to the International Space Station with a Nov. 16 launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff is scheduled for 2:28 p.m. EST.

Atlantis' launch date was announced Thursday at the conclusion of a flight readiness review at Kennedy. During the meeting, senior NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the shuttle's equipment, support systems and procedures are ready.

The Nov. 16 target date depends on the planned Nov. 14 launch of an Atlas V rocket from nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Atlas has reserved the Eastern Range on Nov. 14 and 15. If the Atlas launch is delayed to Nov. 15, the shuttle’s liftoff will move to no earlier than 2:02 p.m. on Nov. 17.

The STS-129 mission will focus on storing spare hardware on the exterior of the space station. The flight will include three spacewalks and install two platforms on the station's truss, or backbone. The platforms will hold spare parts to sustain station operations after the shuttle fleet is retired.

Commander Charlie Hobaugh and his crew of five astronauts are scheduled to arrive at Kennedy at approximately 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, for final launch preparations. Joining Hobaugh on STS-129 will be Pilot Barry Wilmore and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Randy Bresnik, Mike Foreman and Bobby Satcher. Nicole Stott, an astronaut who currently resides on the station, will return home with the Atlantis crew after living in space for more than two months. Her return on the shuttle is slated to be the final time it is used to rotate space station crew members.

STS-129 will be Atlantis' 31st mission and the 31st shuttle flight dedicated to station assembly and maintenance.

Provided by JPL/ (news : web)

Explore further: Hail damages Atlantis space shuttle's external fuel tank

Related Stories

Hail damages Atlantis space shuttle's external fuel tank

February 27, 2007

A strong thunderstorm with hail passed through NASA's Kennedy Space Center launch complex area about 5 p.m. EST Monday. The remote cameras indicate some damage to the external tank, but a full assessment on the scene is just ...

NASA to Rotate Station Astronauts on Next Shuttle Mission

April 26, 2007

After several months working aboard the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Suni Williams will come back to Earth aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, targeted for launch June 8. That shuttle mission, STS-117, will ...

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 ...

Shuttle 'Go' for Dec. 6 Launch

December 4, 2007

Space shuttle Atlantis is set to begin its launch countdown for the STS-122 mission with a flurry of activities at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Atlantis is scheduled to launch at 4:31 p.m. EST on Thursday, Dec. ...

Recommended for you

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 ...

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.


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.