Thursday, October 29, 2009

NASA officially targets Nov. 16 for Atlantis launch

NASA and the space shuttle management team are meeting today to determine a new launch date for the next space shuttle flight, and the teams readiness to support its twelve day flight.

This morning, the NASA management team officially targeted Monday, November 16th as the new launch date for Atlantis to start it's resupply and equipment delivery mission to the International Space Station.

Launch time is currently set for 2:27:54 pm EST. The launch window is five minutes.

NASA worked out a deal with the United Launch Alliance to push back a Delta IV unmanned rocket from it's targeted launch date of Nov. 17th by a day to allow Atlantis an optional day in case the target date is scrubbed for 24 hours.

Later today, technicians here at the Kennedy Space Center will begin retracting the huge gantry structure which wraps and protects the orbiter from weather (above, today at 9:15 am), and allows workers access to the mid section of the space shuttle.

The rotating service structure will be moved back to allow for the STS-129 payload to arrive at the pad this evening and be installed for launch.

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