Monday, July 11, 2011

Shuttle Crew Hauling Supplies Into Station

The Atlantis astronauts are hauling tons of gear between an Italian moving van and the International Space Station as the nation's final shuttle supply run to the outpost unfolds almost 250 miles above Earth.

Atlantis commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley and two mission specialists -- Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim -- all are pitching in as a highly choreographed exchange of almost 10 tons of food, supplies, equipment and trash gets underway at the orbiting outpost.

A total of 9,403 pounds of food and other supplies will be moved into the station from the Raffaello Multipurpose Logistics Module, which was launched to the station in the payload bay of Atlantis. Magnus and Hurley used the station's robot arm to berth the cylindrical carrier to the underside of the U.S. harmony module earlier today.

Another 2,281 pounds of experimental equipment, supplies and other gear will be transferred from shuttle mid-deck lockers into the station.

Coming home in Raffaello will be 5,666 pounds of surplus gear and trash. Another 1,564 pounds will be packed into the mid-deck for the return trip to Kennedy Space Center.

Touchdown at KSC is slated for about 7 a.m. July 20, the 42nd anniversary of the historic Apollo moon-landing mission,

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