Capa Canaveral FL (SPX) May 07, 2009
Final prelaunch operations are under way at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida as workers at Launch Pad 39A prepare space shuttle Atlantis for flight. The team is performing final closeouts of the main propulsion system, as well as pressurization of the orbital maneuvering system and reaction control system.
At NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Atlantis' seven astronauts are conducting final reviews of science instrument replacement, repair work and rendezvous procedures for their mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope.
Liftoff is scheduled for May 11 at 2:01 p.m. EDT, and the countdown clock will start at 4 p.m. Friday. Veteran astronaut Scott Altman will command the final space shuttle mission to service NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, and retired Navy Capt. Gregory C. Johnson will serve as pilot. Mission specialists rounding out the crew are: veteran spacewalkers John Grunsfeld and Mike Massimino, and first-time space fliers Andrew Feustel, Michael Good and Megan McArthur.
During the 11-day mission's five spacewalks, astronauts will install two new instruments, repair two inactive ones and perform the component replacements that will keep the telescope functioning into at least 2014.
In addition to the originally scheduled work, Atlantis also will carry a replacement Science Instrument Command and Data Handling Unit for Hubble. Astronauts will install the unit on the telescope, removing the one that stopped working on Sept. 27, 2008, delaying the servicing mission until the replacement was ready.
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Congresswoman Kosmas Discusses Efforts To Delay Shuttle Retirement
Washington DC (SPX) May 07, 2009
Congresswoman Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24) has met with the crew of STS-119 and congratulated them for their successful mission last month aboard Space Shuttle Discovery. The crew launched March 15th on a 13-day mission to deliver the International Space Station's fourth and final set of solar array wings.
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