Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Watch live: Shuttle rollout to launch pad at KSC

Update: Atlantis was fully secured to the launch pad at 1:31 p.m. The pad's rotating tower should be closed around the shuttle around 9 p.m.

The space shuttle Atlantis began to roll out to its Kennedy Space Center launch pad today at 6:38 a.m.

Click right here to open a video player where you can watch the action at KSC live as it happens.

The picture above is the latest live still image from NASA Television. It should automatically update every 30 seconds or so with the latest shot from KSC, so you can stay right here and see if the shuttle is making progress.

Atlantis rolled out of the 52-story Vehicle Assembly Building into some light rain, something managers typically try to avoid, but the brief showers apparently posed no danger to the spaceship.

The 3.4-mile roll to launch pad 39A atop a giant crawler-transporter is expected to take six or seven hours.

The timing could afford some neat views to guests at KSC's Visitor Complex this morning. Tour buses that stop at a gantry along the crawlerway, starting around 10 a.m., might catch views of the shuttle as it approaches and climbs the launch pad.

Atlantis is taking the next major step toward a targeted Nov. 12 launch to the deliver spare parts to the International Space Station and return station flight engineer Nicole Stott home.

Here's a NASA summary of the 11-day mission that plans to conduct three spacewalks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

They usually close the viewing gantry during rollout. There is only one exceptional case I know of and it was when they rolled Endeavour from B to A last year.