November 14, 2009
Shuttle Mission STS-129
The Space Shuttle Atlantis and its crew of six are ready for launch to the International Space Station (ISS). The weather forecast is good for liftoff at 2:28 p.m. Monday, November 16. The launch window closes on Friday.
STS-129 commander is Charles Hobaugh, the pilot is Barry "Butch" Wilmore, and missions specialists are Leland Melvin and spacewalkers Robert Satcher, Michael Foreman and Randolph Bresnik. Nicole Stott, who is currently winding up a three-month stay as a flight engineer on the ISS, will return home on Atlantis, the last astronaut to come home via space shuttle. (The Russian Soyuz will be used exclusively for crew exchange from now on.)
The flight is delivering essential spare parts for critical station systems. Three space walks and lots of robotic arm work are planned as part of this flight.
Also being delivered is a communications unit that will be used in a demonstration of Space X's Dragon capsule in 2010. Space X is participating in NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program to provide cargo services to the ISS.
To view a summary of the 12-day flight, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/externalflash/129_flash/
To the stars,
Posted by m_dyson at November 14, 2009 11:19 PM