Friday, May 08, 2009

Atlantis Crew Arrives at KSC; Countdown Begins

The seven member flight crew of the next space shuttle mission arrived today at the Kennedy Space Center in preparation for their launch this Monday afternoon on the final servicing call to upgrade America's pride - the Hubble Space Telescope.

The crew arrived in several of the T-38A trainer jets here at KSC's shuttle landing facility at just after 5PM EDT today. The crew departed Ellington Air Field at around 3pm EDT, and following a one-stop flight for refueling, the crew arrived in great spirits with Atlantis' commander Scott Altman exclaiming, "Let's launch Atlantis!".

Earlier, inside launch control center which sits a about two miles south from the runway, the traditional Call-to-Stations for launch technicians occurred at 3:30 pm, and the formal launch countdown began at the T-:43 hour mark at 4PM EDT.

Atlantis will begin their house call to repair and upgrade the Edwin Hubble Space Telescope with a scheduled launch time of 2:01 pm on Monday afternoon from launch complex 39-A. If Atlantis cannot launch on the Monday, then launch crews have until Wednesday to get the crew into space before standing down from May 14 thru 19th.

Along with CDR Altman, the crew includes pilot Gregory C. Johnson, and mission specialists Michael J. Massimino, Michael T. Good, K. Megan McArthur, John M. Grunsfeld and Andrew J. Feustel.

An on time launch will see Atlantis land back here at KSC on May 22nd at 11:42 am.

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