Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Orbiter Atlantis At Pad For Final Shuttle Launch

Shuttle Atlantis settled in at its Kennedy Space Center launch pad today in advance of NASA's final shuttle flight, arriving a little less than an hour after Endeavour landed five miles to the west, winding up that orbiter's 25th and final flight.

In what amounted to a historic double-header, Atlantis started rolling up onto its launch pedestal at pad 39A just about the same time Endeavour rolled to a stop on Runway 15 at the Shuttle Landing Facility. The shuttle was "hard-down" on the pad at 3:29 a.m.

Endeavour landed 2:35 a.m., capping a 6.5-million-mile mission.

Atlantis departed the KSC Vehicle Assembly Building at 8:42 p.m. -- 42 minutes later than planned. A hydraulic system seal leak prompted the delay. Atlantis completed the 3.5-mile trip in a little less than six hours.

Atlantis and four astronauts are scheduled to launch at 11:38 a.m. July 8 on a two-week supply run to the International Space Station. The mission will be the 33rd for Atlantis and the 135th and final flight for the shuttle program.

No comments: