Thursday, April 15, 2010

Payload for final Atlantis flight heads to launch pad today

In some respects, it's business as usual here at Kennedy Space Center despite President Obama's planned visit this afternoon.

Spaceport workers are scheduled to roll the payload for the next shuttle mission out to launch pad 39A.

A container holding the payload is set to leave KSC's Canister Rotation Facility at 6 p.m. and should take about three hours to reach the pad, after which it will be hoisted into an environmentally controlled chamber.

The primary payload for what is expected to be Atlantis' final flight, a 13-day trip to the International Space Station targeted for launch May 14, is a Russian docking port and a platform of spare parts including a new set of solar array batteries and a spare S-band antenna.

Atlantis is targeted to roll out to the pad Monday night or Tuesday morning, not long after Discovery's planned landing Monday morning.

The six-person crew of Atlantis is due to fly into KSC for several days of standard pre-launch training on Tuesday. The crew includes commander Ken Ham, pilot Tony Antonelli and mission specialists Steve Bowen, Michael Good, Piers Sellers and Garrett Reisman.


Anonymous said...

"...and a platform of spare parts including a new set of solar array batteries and a spare S-band antenna."

Don't forget another amonia tank to replace the one that failed this week.

Rick Steele
Sarasota, Florida

Anonymous said...

We are s SCREWED!

Obama went to visit Space-X and see the Falcon-9...


Rat Weasel!

James Dean said...

Rick: Sorry, I wasn't aware of the ammonia tank. But keep in mind, the one they just installed hasn't failed. The failure is with a valve in a related nitrogen tank that was already up on station, and they apparently have two spare nitrogen tanks already up there.