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NASA Warms Up Atlantis For STS-115

Dozens of employees accompany Atlantis on its rollover from the Orbiter Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building, where it will be lifted into high bay 3 for mating to the external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters. Image credit: NASA/Jim Grossman
by Staff Writers
Kennedy Space Center FL (SPX) Jul 26, 2006
NASA engineers have moved space shuttle Atlantis to the Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center in preparation for transfer to the launch pad early next week.

Atlantis, which is scheduled to lift off as early as Aug. 28 on an 11-day mission to the International Space Station, will be mated to its external tank and its two solid-fuel rocket boosters over the weekend, and mounted atop the giant tracked transporter that will roll the assembled orbiter to the launch pad, perhaps as early as Monday.

The STS-115 mission launch window will run through Sept. 7. After that, a launch would conflict with a Soyuz mission scheduled to fly to the ISS in mid-September.

If the mission goes according to plan, the Atlantis crew is scheduled to install the Port 3/4 truss segment with its two large solar arrays on the station.

The STS-115 crew consists of commander Brent W. Jett Jr., pilot Christopher J. Ferguson, mission specialists Heidemarie M. Stefanyshyn-Piper, Joseph R. Tanner, Daniel C. Burbank and Steven G. MacLean, who represents the Canadian Space Agency.

The launch will be the first for Atlantis since 2002.

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With Safe Return Of Discovery NASA Aims For Regular Shuttle Flights
Cape Canaveral, Florida (AFP) Jul 18, 2006
With Discovery and its crew of six safely back on Earth, NASA set its eyes on next month's scheduled launch that should mark the resumption of regular shuttle flights.

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