Monday, November 16, 2009

Live At KSC: Atlantis Flies During Shuttle Phase-Out

BLOGGER NOTE: Space reporter James Dean wrote up the shuttle launch story for Florida Today and USA Today as ell as more than 80 other daily newspapers around the country. Take a look:

By James Dean, USA TODAY

CAPE CANAVERAL -- Atlantis and six astronauts are chasing down the International Space Station after a flawless launch Monday, leaving five more flights before the nation's shuttle fleet is retired.

"It's starting to hit home," said shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach.

Atlantis' blastoff was the fifth successful launch of 2009, following three other visits to the station and -- on Atlantis' previous flight -- a final overhaul of the Hubble Space Telescope. Five more trips are planned next year to finish more than 10 years of station construction, after which about 7,000 Kennedy Space Center employees face layoffs.

See the full story here: HERE

ABOUT THE IMAGE: Click to enlarge the NASA image of Atlantis springing into action from Launch Pad 39A on a perfect Florida afternoon at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Liftoff on its STS-129 mission came at 2:28 p.m. Aboard are crew members Commander Charles O. Hobaugh; Pilot Barry E. Wilmore; and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Randy Bresnik, Mike Foreman and Robert L. Satcher Jr. On STS-129, the crew will deliver two Express Logistics Carriers to the International Space Station, the largest of the shuttle's cargo carriers, containing 15 spare pieces of equipment including two gyroscopes, two nitrogen tank assemblies, two pump modules, an ammonia tank assembly and a spare latching end effector for the station's robotic arm. Atlantis will return to Earth a station crew member, Nicole Stott, who has spent more than two months aboard the orbiting laboratory. STS-129 is slated to be the final space shuttle Expedition crew rotation flight. Photo courtesy of Scott Andrews.

1 comment:

Conor said...

Will this be the first time the Shuttle will land with a larger crew than it had on the way up?