Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Atlantis crew to answer questions from media

How does it feel to be flying the final shuttle mission? What's next after the shuttle program? Why is the shuttle last crew only four people?

These might be a few of the questions tossed to the astronauts flying Atlantis next month during a media event this morning at Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A.

Click on the NASA TV box at right to watch the Q&A starting at 8:40 a.m.

The Atlantis crew flew into KSC Monday afternoon for several days of pre-launch training known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, or TCDT.

The test culminates in a launch dress rehearsal that will have the crew suit up in their orange launch-and-entry suits Thursday morning, ride out to the pad and strap into their seats on Atlantis, just as they will on launch day.

Launch of the 135th and final mission is targeted for 11:26 a.m. July 8. An official date will be set at a flight readiness review scheduled Tuesday at KSC.

IMAGE: The STS-135 crew paused Tuesday for a photo at the conclusion of their M113 armored personnel carrier training at Kennedy Space Center. Seen here are Mission Specialist Rex Walheim (left), Pilot Doug Hurley, Mission Specialist Sandy Magnus and Commander Chris Ferguson. An M113 is kept at the foot of the launch pad in case an emergency exit from the launch pad is needed and every shuttle crew is trained on driving the vehicle before launch. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

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