Space Shuttle Atlantis Arrives at Launch Pad

Nov 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: Start of dwarf planet mission delayed after small mix-up

Related Stories

Interview with veteran NASA astronaut Brian Duffy

Apr 07, 2015

Space is always on the mind of a veteran NASA astronaut Brian Duffy. The key figure in an aerospace company Orbital ATK and a Space Shuttle commander is extremely keen on flying to space again. The enthusiasm ...

Q&A: Saying goodbye to the space shuttle

Jul 11, 2011

With the final launch of the Atlantis, NASA retires its space shuttle program. We spoke to Professor Chris Damaren of the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies about the end of an era in manned ...

Recommended for you

Can sound help us detect 'earthquakes' on Venus?

Apr 23, 2015

Detecting an "earthquake" on Venus would seem to be an impossible task. The planet's surface is a hostile zone of crushing pressure and scorching temperatures—about 874 degrees F, hot enough to melt lead—that ...

Titan's atmosphere useful in study of hazy exoplanets

Apr 23, 2015

With more than a thousand confirmed planets outside of our solar system, astronomers are attempting to identify the atmospheres of these distant bodies to determine if they could possibly host life.

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.