Monday, 20 June 2011

Preparation for the final Space Shuttle Mission

Space Shuttle Atlantis on the launch pad (Image Credit NASA)

Space Shuttle Atlantis is being prepared for the STS-135 mission, the final flight of the Space Shuttle Program, targeted for launch on July the 8th.

The mission's four astronauts are scheduled to fly to Kennedy from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston in T-38 jets, arriving at 15:45 EDT (22.45 GMT) to begin their prelaunch countdown rehearsal. Their arrival at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility will be shown live on NASA TV.

At Launch Pad 39A in Florida technicians are X-raying the 50 support beams, called stringers, on the shuttle-facing side of space shuttle Atlantis' external fuel tank. This should take about a week to complete but no problems are anticipated with the tank's stringers. Scans began Sunday due to strong storms on Saturday, which caused no damage to the shuttle and pad.

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