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Shuttle Astronauts Begin Prelaunch Training Milestone

STS-125 crew, from left are, mission specialist Megan McArthur, pilot Gregory C. Johnson, mission specialist Mike Massimino, commander Scott Altman, and mission specialists Andrew Feustel, John Grunsfeld and Michael Good. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
by Staff Writers
Cape Canveral FL (SPX) Sep 23, 2008
The seven astronauts for space shuttle Atlantis' STS-125 mission to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope are at Kennedy Space Center to participate in the STS-125 terminal countdown demonstration test, concluding with a countdown rehearsal Sept. 24.

During the three-day event, the astronauts and ground crews participate in various simulated countdown activities, including equipment familiarization and emergency training for the fifth and final shuttle flight to service the telescope.

Crew members spent most of their first day in briefings. Monday evening, Commander Scott Altman and Pilot Gregory Johnson will fly simulated landings in the Shuttle Training Aircraft, while Mission Specialists Michael Good, Megan McArthur, John Grunsfeld, Michael Massimino, and Andrew Fuestal check the fit of their orange launch-and-entry suits.

Tuesday's activities include a question-and-answer session with the media and emergency egress training at Launch Pad 39A.

Meanwhile, at Launch Pad 39A, technicians continue to prepare space shuttle Atlantis for its upcoming launch, targeted for Oct. 10 at 12:43 a.m. EDT. The canister carrying flight hardware for the telescope now is in the pad's payload changeout room, where it awaits installation in the orbiter's payload bay.

On Friday morning, space shuttle Endeavour successfully completed its slow 4.2-mile trek from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39B. The journey took less than 8 hours, and the shuttle was securely fastened to the pad just before sunrise.

Endeavour will be on standby in the unlikely event that a rescue mission for the Atlantis's crew would be necessary. After Endeavour is cleared from its duty as a rescue vehicle, workers will move it to pad 39A in preparation for liftoff on mission STS-126 to the International Space Station in November.

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Endeavour's move to launch pad set
Cape Canaveral, Fla. (UPI) Sep 11, 2008
The U.S. space agency says it will move space shuttle Endeavour to a Kennedy Space Center launch pad to act as a safety stand-by for space shuttle Atlantis.

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