Space Shuttle Atlantis To Move To Launch Pad Saturday

Aug 26, 2008

(PhysOrg.com) -- Space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to roll out to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Saturday, Aug. 30. Atlantis is targeted to lift off Oct. 8 to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.

The first motion of the shuttle out of Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building is scheduled for 12:01 a.m. EDT. The fully assembled space shuttle, consisting of the orbiter, external tank and twin solid rocket boosters, was mounted on a mobile launcher platform and will be delivered to the pad atop a crawler-transporter. The crawler will travel slower than 1 mph during the 3.4-mile journey. The process is expected to take approximately six hours.

Repairs to Launch Pad 39A's flame trench wall were completed Aug. 5 after crews installed a steel grid structure and covered it in a heat-resistant material. The pad's north flame trench was damaged when bricks tore away from the wall during the May 31 launch of space shuttle Discovery.

NASA Television will provide live coverage of Atlantis' move to the launch pad beginning at 6:30 a.m. Video highlights of the rollout will air on NASA TV Video File.

During its 11-day mission that includes five spacewalks, the STS-125's crew of seven astronauts will install two new instruments in Hubble, as well as replace the Fine Guidance Sensor. The result will be six working, complementary science instruments with capabilities beyond those now available, and an extended operational lifespan of the telescope through at least 2013.

Atlantis will be commanded by Scott Altman. Gregory C. Johnson will be pilot. Mission Specialists will be John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino, Megan McArthur, Andrew Feustel and Michael Good.

Provided by NASA

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