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  STS-122: Countdown to Atlantis' launch

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Author Topic:   STS-122: Countdown to Atlantis' launch
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-30-2007 05:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
NASA release
NASA Gives "Go" for Space Shuttle Launch on Dec. 6

NASA senior managers completed a thorough review Friday of space shuttle Atlantis' readiness for flight and selected Dec. 6 as the official launch date for mission STS-122. Commander Steve Frick and his six crewmates are scheduled to lift off to the International Space Station at 4:31 p.m. EST.

During the 11-day mission, the crew will install the European Space Agency's new Columbus laboratory. Columbus will expand the research facilities of the station and provide scientists around the world with the ability to conduct a variety of life, physical and materials science experiments. The mission will include at least three spacewalks, delivery of a new crew member to the station and the return of another astronaut after nearly two months aboard the station.

Atlantis' launch date was announced after the conclusion of Friday's Flight Readiness Review. During the one-day meeting, top NASA and contractor managers assessed any risks associated with the mission and determined whether the shuttle's equipment, support systems and procedures are ready for flight.

Joining Commander Frick on STS-122 will be pilot Alan Poindexter and mission specialists Leland Melvin, Rex Walheim, Stanley Love and European Space Agency astronauts Hans Schlegel and Leopold Eyharts. Eyharts will replace current station crew member Dan Tani, who has lived on the outpost since October. Eyharts will return to Earth on shuttle Endeavour's STS-123 mission, currently targeted for launch on Feb. 14, 2008.

For info about watching the launch, see: STS-122 launch viewing

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-30-2007 05:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-122 Launch Countdown Milestones and Times
(All times Eastern)

Launch-3 Days (Monday, Dec. 3)

  • Prepare for the start of the STS-122 launch countdown
  • Perform the call to stations (6:30 p.m.)
  • Countdown begins at the T-43 hour mark (7 p.m.)
  • Begin final vehicle and facility closeouts for launch
  • Check out backup flight systems
  • Review flight software stored in mass memory units and display systems
  • Load backup flight system software into Atlantis' general purpose computers
Launch-2 Days (Tuesday, Dec. 4)
  • Mid-deck and flight-deck platform removal complete (3 a.m.)
  • Activate and test navigational systems (8 a.m.)
  • Complete preparations to load power reactant storage and distribution system (10 a.m.)
  • Flight deck preliminary inspections complete (11 a.m.)
Enter first built-in hold at T-27 hours for duration of 4 hours (11 a.m.)
  • Clear launch pad of all non-essential personnel
  • Perform test of the vehicle's pyrotechnic initiator controllers
Resume countdown (3 p.m.)
  • Begin operations to load cryogenic reactants into Atlantis' fuel cell storage tanks (4:30 p.m.)
Enter 4-hour built-in hold at T-19 hours (11 p.m.)
  • Demate orbiter mid-body umbilical unit (11:30 p.m.)
  • Resume orbiter and ground support equipment closeouts
Launch-1 Day (Wednesday, Dec. 5)

Resume countdown (3 a.m.)

  • Final preparations of the shuttle's three main engines for main propellant tanking (3 a.m.)
  • Begin filling pad sound suppression system water tank (8 a.m.)
  • Close out the tail service masts on the mobile launcher platform
  • Begin star tracker functional checks (10:50 a.m.)
  • Pad sound suppression system water tank filling complete (11 a.m.)
Enter planned hold at T-11 hours for 13 hours, 6 minutes (11 a.m.)
  • Activate orbiter's inertial measurement units
  • Activate the orbiter's communications systems
  • Install film in numerous cameras on the launch pad (11:55 a.m.)
  • Flight crew equipment late stow (4:00 p.m.)
  • Move Rotating Service Structure to the park position (8 p.m.)
  • Perform ascent switch list
  • Fuel cell flow-through purge complete
Launch Day (Thursday, Dec. 6)

Resume countdown at T-11 hours (12:06 a.m.)

  • Activate the orbiter's fuel cells (1:16 a.m.)
  • Clear the blast danger area of all non-essential personnel
  • Switch Atlantis' purge air to gaseous nitrogen (1:51 a.m.)
Enter planned 2-hour built-in hold at the T-6 hour mark (5:06 a.m.)
  • Launch team verifies no violations of launch commit criteria prior to cryogenic loading of the external tank
  • Clear pad of all personnel
Resume countdown (7:06 a.m.)
  • Chill down propellant transfer lines (7:06 a.m.)
  • Begin loading the external fuel tank with about 500,000 gallons of cryogenic propellants (about 7:16 a.m.)
  • Complete filling the external tank with its flight load of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants (about 10:06 a.m.)
  • Final Inspection Team proceeds to launch pad
Enter planned 2-hour, 30 minute built-in hold at T-3 hours (10:06 a.m.)
  • Perform inertial measurement unit preflight calibration
  • Align Merritt Island Launch Area tracking antennas
  • Perform open loop test with Eastern Range
Resume countdown at T-3 hours (12:36 p.m.)
  • Crew departs Operations and Checkout Building for the pad (12:46 p.m.)
  • Complete closeout preparations in the White Room
  • Check cockpit switch configurations
  • Flight crew begins entry into the orbiter (about 1:15 p.m.)
  • Astronauts perform air-to-ground voice checks with Launch and Mission Control
  • Begin to close Atlantis' crew hatch (2:31 p.m.)
  • Begin Eastern Range final network open loop command checks
  • Perform hatch seal and cabin leak checks
  • Complete White Room closeout
  • Closeout crew moves to fallback area
  • Primary ascent guidance data is transferred to the backup flight system
Enter planned 10-minute hold at T-20 minutes (3:16 p.m.)
  • NASA test director conducts final launch team briefings
  • Complete inertial measurement unit preflight alignments
Resume countdown at T-20 minutes (3:26 p.m.)
  • Transition the orbiter's onboard computers to launch configuration
  • Start fuel cell thermal conditioning
  • Close orbiter cabin vent valves
  • Transition backup flight system to launch configuration
Enter estimated 45-minute hold at T-9 minutes (3:37 p.m.)
  • Launch director, Mission Management Team and NASA test director conduct final polls for "go/no go" to launch
Resume countdown at T-9 minutes (about 4:22 p.m.)
  • Start automatic ground launch sequencer (T-9 minutes)
  • Retract orbiter crew access arm (T-7:30)
  • Start mission recorders (T-6:15)
  • Start Auxiliary Power Units (T-5)
  • Arm solid rocket booster and external tank range safety safe and arm devices (T-5)
  • Start liquid oxygen drainback (T-4:55)
  • Start orbiter aerosurface profile test (T-3:55)
  • Start main engine gimbal profile test (T-3:30)
  • Pressurize liquid oxygen tank (T-2:55)
  • Begin retraction of the gaseous oxygen vent arm (T-2:55)
  • Fuel cells to internal reactants (T-2:35)
  • Pressurize liquid hydrogen tank (T-1:57)
  • Deactivate bi-pod heaters (T-1:52)
  • Deactivate solid rocket booster joint heaters (T-0:50)
  • Orbiter transfers from ground to internal power (T-0:50 seconds)
  • Ground Launch Sequencer go for auto sequence start (T-0:31 seconds)
  • Booster gimbal profile (T-0:21 seconds)
  • Ignition of three space shuttle main engines (T-6.6 seconds)
  • Booster ignition and liftoff (T-0)
Summary of STS-122 Launch Day Crew Activities
6:00 a.m. --- Crew wakes up
12:06 p.m. --- Weather briefing
12:16 p.m. --- Don flight suits
12:46 p.m. --- Depart for launch pad
1:15 p.m. --- Arrive at White Room and begin ingress
2:31 p.m. --- Close crew hatch
4:31 p.m. --- Launch

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-03-2007 03:21 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Crew Arrives for Launch

Five NASA astronauts and two European Space Agency astronauts flew to NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Monday to get ready for launch on Thursday aboard space shuttle Atlantis.

"It's been a long time building to this moment, so we're just absolutely ready to go," STS-122 commander Steve Frick said.

They flew to Kennedy aboard a NASA Gulfstream II business jet and landed at about 11:30 a.m. CST.

"We flew by shuttle Atlantis on the launch pad and it's a beautiful sight," pilot Alan Poindexter said.

The next big step toward launch comes at 6 p.m. today when the countdown begins. Liftoff is scheduled for 3:31 p.m. CST on Thursday.

Robert Pearlman

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 12-06-2007 12:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Originally posted by Robert Pearlman:
  • Move Rotating Service Structure to the park position (8 p.m.)
  • On Wednesday evening, the Rotating Service Structure at Pad 39A was moved to its launch position. The gantry encloses much of the shuttle while it is on the launch pad and gives workers access to critical areas of the shuttle and its payload.

    All times are CT (US)

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