Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Atlantis Moves Closer To Final Shuttle Flight

The orbiter Atlantis is being rolled from its processing hangar to the Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building, where it will be stacked in advance of NASA's 135th and final space shuttle flight in mid-July.

The 122-foot-long orbiter will remain in the transfer aisle of the assembly building today.

Tomorrow, it will be hoisted onto a mobile launcher platform so it can be connected to an external tank with attached solid rocket boosters.

The fully assembled shuttle vehicle is scheduled to roll out to launch pad 39A at 8 p.m. on May 31. Endeavour and its astronaut crew are scheduled to land at KSC's shuttle runway about at 2:32 a.m. June 1.

Launch still is officially slated for June 28. However, a slip in the launch of Endeavour will push that date back to sometime in mid-July.

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