Thursday, November 12, 2009

Live at KSC: Atlantis crew "excited" for launch

Six Atlantis astronauts have arrived at Kennedy Space Center ahead of their planned 2:28 p.m. Monday launch to the International Space Station.

"We're excited about getting ready to launch," said mission specialist and lead spacewalker Mike Foreman, a 52-year-old retired Navy captain. "It looks like you're doing the right thing, getting the bad weather out of here today so Monday looks good. We're looking forward to that."

Foreman was joined at KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility by mission commander Charlie Hobaugh, pilot Barry Wilmore and fellow mission specialists Randy Bresnik, Leland Melvin and Bobby Satcher.

They flew in from Houston aboard a modified Gulfstream II jet, touching down at 12:33 p.m., and were greeted by NASA Launch Director Mike Leinbach and astronaut Jerry Ross, head of the Vehicle Integration Test team.

Assuming an Atlas V rocket launches as planned early Saturday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Atlantis is set to blast off Monday on an 11-day mission to deliver spare parts and pick up station flight engineer Nicole Stott.

Countdown clocks at Kennedy Space Center are scheduled to begin ticking at 1 p.m. Friday.

Click here to read a NASA press kit with more background on the mission.

IMAGE NOTE: Six astronauts set to launch Monday on shuttle Atlantis arrived today at Kennedy Space Center. The crew is, from left: mission specialist Leland Melvin, pilot Barry Wilmore, commander Charlie Hobaugh and mission specialists Randy Bresnik, Mike Foreman and Bobby Satcher. International Space Station flight engineer Nicole Stott will join the crew as a mission specialist for the ride home. Photo credit: Mike Brown, Florida Today.


Anonymous said...

If NASA is truly so concerned about funding, maybe they ought to rethink that decision to fly the astronauts in on "a modified Gulfstream II jet." I believe Southwest has direct flights from Houston to Orlando, and I am sure it is much, much cheaper.

James Dean said...

I should have noted that those jets are used by the commander and pilot to practice landings.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the expense of the Gulfstream is entirely appropriate, the crew members use it for landing practice, it is used to verify weather for landings, etc etc etc. The crews do fly commercial, but right now they are in Quarantine so they don't catch cold. Can't quarantine them if they are in a 737 flying to Orlando!

And FlaToday should fix their link to the article about the Poisk!! It is:

and it is NOT on the Flame Trench blog! The link from the Space Headlines page goes to the Flame Trench blog.

You people shoul hire Robert Block from Orlando to improve your stories!!!

Anonymous said...

And why is it that when you post to this blog, it does not recognize who you are? So you have to post as anonymous, and have to select Post twice????

Anonymous said...

Charlie Hobaugh...I knew I recognized him. He was the reentry and landing CAPCOM for STS-107 and was the one who said several times, "Columbia, Houston. UHF Comm Check." That and Dick Covey's, "Challenger, go at throttle up" still give me the chills today.

James Dean said...

That's right Mark. That must have been a traumatic experience for Hobaugh, among many others. This will be his second post-Columbia flight, and first as a commander. Columbia was the first shuttle launch I ever witnessed, as a newcomer to Florida at the time.

Anonymous said...

If anonymous is concerned about wasting $$$, he/she/it should be writing our congressman and tell them to stop sending BILLIONS of $$$ to foreign governments overseas (Pakastain 8.5 billion last month alone). At least with OUR space program, WE are getting something in RETURN for OUR $$$ spent...