Atlantis countdown testing begins

Feb 21, 2007

The final countdown testing in preparation for the March 15 launch of space shuttle Atlantis began Wednesday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the flight crew of mission STS-117 will participate in the full launch dress rehearsal that continues through Friday. Such tests typically take place a few weeks prior to a launch and provide the crew an opportunity to participate in various simulated countdown activities, including equipment familiarization and emergency egress training.

Atlantis arrived at Launch Pad 39A last week from the Vehicle Assembly Building where it was mated with its external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters. The orbiter's launch will be the first from Pad 39A in four years.

During countdown tests, the shuttle will undergo final testing, payload installation and a "hot fire" test of auxiliary power units. When testing is completed, the rotating service structure will be moved around the vehicle for protection.

During the 11-day mission to the international space station, the six-member crew will install a new truss segment, retract a set of solar arrays and unfold a new set.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Computer simulation suggests early Earth bombarded by asteroids and comets

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

MILA tracks its last launch and landing

Jul 08, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- With its beginnings rooted deeply in the historic days of Apollo, the MILA Spaceflight Tracking and Data Network Station has played a key role throughout the 30 years of the Space Shuttle ...

NASA braces for Giffords, Obama, huge launch crowd

Apr 27, 2011

(AP) -- NASA officials say they're pleased that space shuttle Endeavour's final launch is expected to attract more than a half-million visitors Friday, including President Barack Obama.

Recommended for you

Exploring Mars in low Earth orbit

13 hours ago

In their quest to understand life's potential beyond Earth, astrobiologists study how organisms might survive in numerous environments, from the surface of Mars to the ice-covered oceans of Jupiter's moon, ...

Lifetime of gravity measurements heralds new beginning

15 hours ago

Although ESA's GOCE satellite is no more, all of the measurements it gathered during its life skirting the fringes our atmosphere, including the very last as it drifted slowly back to Earth, have been drawn ...

NASA's IceCube no longer on ice

19 hours ago

NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) has chosen a team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, to build its first Earth science-related CubeSat mission.

User comments : 0