Fri, May 14, 2010
Spacecraft's 32nd Mission Underway On Schedule
Space shuttle Atlantis roared into an azure blue Florida sky at
1420 Friday, the final planned launch of the veteran
File Photo Courtesy NASA
Launch directors expressed some concern during the final planned
hold before Friday's launch because of a ball bearing that was
discovered in the payload bay of the spacecraft two days earlier.
It was determined that it was the same size and type of bearing
that is used in camera mounts in Atlantis' payload bay. But that
issue was resolved and the flight controllers gave a "go" for an
During the 12-day flight, Atlantis and six astronauts will fly
to the International Space Station, leaving behind a Russian Mini
Research Module, a set of batteries for the station's truss and
dish antenna, along with other replacement parts.
NASA astronaut Ken Ham (below) will command an all-veteran
flight crew: Pilot Tony Antonelli, and Mission Specialists Michael
Good, Garrett Reisman, Piers Sellers and Steve Bowen.
After the final STS-132 Flight Readiness Review, John Shannon,
Space Shuttle Program manager, pointed out that Atlantis' last
planned mission will be an exciting one.
"Twelve days, three [spacewalks], tons of robotics... We're
putting on spares that make us feel good about the long-term
sustainability of the ISS, replacing batteries that have been up
there for a while, and docking a Russian-built ISS module," Shannon
said. "This flight has a little bit of everything, and it's been a
great preparation for the team."
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