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  STS-129: Readying Atlantis to fly to the ISS

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Author Topic:   STS-129: Readying Atlantis to fly to the ISS
Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-06-2009 11:29 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-129 will focus on staging spare components outside the station. The 15-day, three spacewalk flight will install two large ExPRESS Logistics Carriers (ELC) holding two gyroscopes, two nitrogen tank assemblies, two pump modules, an ammonia tank assembly, a spare latching end effector for the station's robotic arm, a spare trailing umbilical system for the Mobile Transporter and high-pressure tank.

Charlie "Scorch" Hobaugh will command the mission, which is scheduled to launch on the penultimate flight of Atlantis in November 2009. Barry "Butch" Wilmore will serve as pilot. The STS-129 mission specialists are Robert "Bobby" Satcher, Michael Foreman, Randy Bresnik and Leland Melvin. The flight will also return Nicole Stott from the space station.

At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Atlantis arrived in the transfer aisle of the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) for the next phase of its launch preparations.

The rollover from its hangar, Orbiter Processing Facility 1, began about 6 a.m. CDT and was completed at 7:25 a.m. when Atlantis was towed into the VAB. Next, Atlantis will be lifted over a transom and lowered into high bay 1, where it will be attached to its external tank and twin solid rocket boosters.

Rollout of the completed shuttle stack to Pad 39A is planned for October 13. Liftoff of Atlantis on the STS-129 mission is targeted for 3:04 p.m. CST on November 12.


Credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-08-2009 04:44 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann
In the Vehicle Assembly Building's High Bay 1, space shuttle Atlantis is moved into position next to the external fuel tank and pair of solid rocket boosters that will launch STS-129.


Credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-09-2009 06:36 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 Adjusts Shuttle Atlantis' Launch Pad Move to Oct. 14

NASA now is targeting Wednesday, Oct. 14, to move space shuttle Atlantis to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

First motion of Atlantis from Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building to the pad is targeted for 12:01 a.m. EDT. The move is known as "rollout." The 3.4 mile journey is expected to take approximately six hours.

Live video coverage of the move will be shown on NASA Television starting at 6:30 a.m. Video highlights of the move will air on NASA TV Video File.

Atlantis' original rollout date was Oct. 13. The shuttle was towed Tuesday from its hangar, Orbiter Processing Facility 1, to the Vehicle Assembly Building, or VAB, in preparation for its STS-129 mission to the International Space Station. However, an issue with a crane that was being used to transfer Atlantis for attachment to its external fuel tank and two solid rocket boosters caused a delay in operations. That in turn caused additional workload on teams in the VAB who also are working on preparing NASA's Ares I-X rocket for rollout to Kennedy's Launch Pad 39B on Oct. 19. Ares I-X is targeted to launch on its flight test on Oct. 27. Shuttle managers added a day to Atlantis' rollout preparations to provide relief to the work force.

The one-day change to the rollout still will allow managers to target Atlantis' launch for Nov. 12. It also does not affect the practice countdown, known as the terminal countdown demonstration test, and associated training for Atlantis' six astronauts and ground teams, which is set to begin Oct. 19.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-14-2009 10:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space shuttle Atlantis, illuminated as the sun rises over NASA's Kennedy Space Center, is on its 3.4-mile trip, known as rollout, from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Pad 39A. First motion was at 5:38 a.m. CDT Oct. 14.

Credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller


Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-14-2009 01:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-16-2009 08:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Space shuttle program manager John Shannon said today that the launch window for STS-129 extends from November 12 to 19 (although the 19th is only possible if the mission forgoes a contingency extension day).

At present, an Atlas V launch on November 14 and a Delta IV launch on November 18 has all but one of the STS-129 window's days reserved on the Eastern Range.

NASA is currently negotiating to see if either of those unmanned launches can move a few days to open a spot for the shuttle, however if they cannot, STS-129's next opportunity will be December 6 to 13 (after which a Soyuz launch will take precedence and STS-129 will slip into January 2010).

Russia is planning to launch Mini Research Module-2 (MRM2), a new docking port for the ISS, on November 10. Its successful (autonomous) attachment to the zenith port of the Zvezda module on November 12 is required before the shuttle will fuel for launch.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-19-2009 10:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-129 update
Astronauts' arrival for TCDT delayed

The six STS-129 astronauts are on their way to Kennedy Space Center to participate in a launch dress rehearsal and related training known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test, or TCDT.

Five of the crew members are flying in T-38 training jets and are expected to arrive after 11 a.m. EDT at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility.

Mission Specialist Leland Melvin will be further delayed because the G2 NASA aircraft he was flying had a technical issue and returned to Ellington Field near Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Because of the delayed arrival times, TCDT crew arrival will not be carried live on NASA Television but it will air as a Video File segment on NASA TV this afternoon

Update: The STS-129 TCDT has been postponed until November 2-3, but the crew will remain today in Florida to undergo other training.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-19-2009 12:06 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 Updates Atlantis Target Launch Date, Crew Rehearsal

NASA is targeting November 16 for the launch of space shuttle Atlantis' STS-129 mission from the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Managers for NASA's Space Operations Mission Directorate and Exploration Systems Mission Directorate met Monday and decided to adjust Atlantis' target launch date to optimize the agency's ability to launch both Ares I-X and Atlantis before the end of the year. The same launch team at Kennedy is supporting both the shuttle and the flight test of the Ares I-X rocket, which is targeted to lift off on October 27. Ares I-X is scheduled to roll out to its launch pad at 12:01 a.m. EDT Tuesday.

Atlantis' new target launch date will give Ares I-X launch opportunities October 27, 28 and 29. NASA has yet to schedule Atlantis' new target liftoff date on the Eastern Range.

The change to Atlantis' targeted launch will affect the launch countdown dress rehearsal for the shuttle's six astronauts. The astronauts arrived at Kennedy on Monday for the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test and related training. The simulated countdown has been rescheduled to November 3. The astronauts will practice emergency escape and other related training while they are at Kennedy this week and return there November 2 to conclude their rehearsal work.

The agency's Flight Readiness Review meeting for STS-129 is set for October 29. NASA will schedule an official launch date for Atlantis following that meeting.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-22-2009 07:00 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
At Pad 39A, members of space shuttle Atlantis' STS-129 crew took questions from the media on October 20. From left are commander Charlie Hobaugh; mission specialists Mike Foreman and Leland Melvin, at microphone; pilot Butch Wilmore; and mission specialists Bobby Satcher and Randy Bresnik.

Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett


Credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-22-2009 07:05 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the Express Logistics Carriers (ELC) 1 and 2 were lowered into and secured inside a transportation canister for their trip to Pad 39A. Once there, they will be installed in Atlantis' payload bay for the STS-129 mission to the International Space Station.

Credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller


Credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller

Robert Pearlman
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posted 10-30-2009 03:23 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 Atlantis Launch on Nov. 16

NASA's space shuttle Atlantis is targeted to begin an 11-day flight to the International Space Station with a Nov. 16 launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff is scheduled for 2:28 p.m. EST.

Atlantis' launch date was announced Thursday at the conclusion of a flight readiness review at Kennedy. During the meeting, senior NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the shuttle's equipment, support systems and procedures are ready.

The Nov. 16 target date depends on the planned Nov. 14 launch of an Atlas V rocket from nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Atlas has reserved the Eastern Range on Nov. 14 and 15. If the Atlas launch is delayed to Nov. 15, the shuttle’s liftoff will move to no earlier than 2:02 p.m. on Nov. 17.

The STS-129 mission will focus on storing spare hardware on the exterior of the space station. The flight will include three spacewalks and install two platforms on the station's truss, or backbone. The platforms will hold spare parts to sustain station operations after the shuttle fleet is retired.

Commander Charlie Hobaugh and his crew of five astronauts are scheduled to arrive at Kennedy at approximately 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12, for final launch preparations. Joining Hobaugh on STS-129 will be Pilot Barry Wilmore and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Randy Bresnik, Mike Foreman and Bobby Satcher. Nicole Stott, an astronaut who currently resides on the station, will return home with the Atlantis crew after living in space for more than two months. Her return on the shuttle is slated to be the final time it is used to rotate space station crew members.

STS-129 will be Atlantis' 31st mission and the 31st shuttle flight dedicated to station assembly and maintenance.

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

posted 10-30-2009 05:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
STS-129 Behind The Scenes, Volume 1


Credit: NASA TV

KSCartist
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posted 11-02-2009 08:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Great video - Mike Massamino has a great career in television once he stops flying.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-04-2009 01:31 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
More "Behind the Scenes" with STS-129...

"The Pumpkin Suit"

"The Person Who Does Everything"

"Keepers of the Book"

"Switching the Shuttle"

Delta7
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posted 11-04-2009 06:32 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Delta7   Click Here to Email Delta7     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Love the quip about the "Bruce McCandless Switch" in the last video!

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-10-2009 04:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlantis and crew move closer to launch

Technicians on Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida continue final checks of systems in the aft section on space shuttle Atlantis.

Installation work also continues for the shuttle's engine acoustic environment testing equipment. The equipment will record the sound pressure and vibration at liftoff -- which recently were determined to be stronger than originally thought.

Testing of the main engine acoustic environment equipment using microphones and sensors is scheduled to wrap up tomorrow.

The STS-129 crew are now in quarantine at Johnson Space Center in Houston until they fly to Kennedy on Thursday morning.

Liftoff of Atlantis to the International Space Station is set for 2:28 p.m. EST Nov. 16. The countdown to launch begins 1 p.m. Friday.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-13-2009 07:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
More "Behind the Scenes" with STS-129...


Credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 11-13-2009 07:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Astronauts arrive to favorable forecast

The STS-129 astronauts are now at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew arrived at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility in a Gulfstream II jet at 11:35 a.m. CST.

After arriving, commander Charles Hobaugh and his crew made brief statements to the media who were gathered at the shuttle runway.

"It's a real honor and pleasure to be here," said Hobaugh. "This has been the culmination of at least nine months of us being together as a crew... we have been deeply entrenched in our training, getting to develop all of our individual requirements for accomplishing our objectives for this mission."

The countdown to their launch begins at the T-43 hour mark at noon CST Friday leading to a liftoff on November 16 at 1:28 p.m. CST.

The weather forecast for Monday calls for a 90% chance of favorable conditions at launch time.


Credit: NASA TV

Robert Pearlman
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posted 11-14-2009 03:50 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlas launch scrubbed, shuttle launch continues

The launch of the Intelsat-14 satellite on an Atlas V was scrubbed just after midnight on Friday night so that engineers can troubleshoot a temporary power interruption in an electronics component used to control flight events on the Atlas booster.

A new launch date for the Atlas has not been established at this time, however an attempt will not be made before the scheduled launch of space shuttle Atlantis on Monday, allowing the STS-129 countdown to continue.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-15-2009 11:06 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Atlantis revealed for launch

The rotating service structure on Pad 39A was rolled back Sunday evening revealing space shuttle Atlantis poised for launch. The STS-129 countdown is proceeding smoothly and on schedule. The astronauts went to sleep around 9 p.m. and awaken at 4:30 a.m. EST.

Also, at 4:30 a.m. Monday morning, NASA's Mission Management Team will meet to give the "go" for tanking of space shuttle Atlantis. Tanking is scheduled to begin at 5 a.m.

Weather remains at 90 percent favorable for an on-time liftoff at 2:28 p.m. EST Monday afternoon.


Credit: Robert Pearlman/collectSPACE.com

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