Wednesday, May 12, 2010

NASA Managers 'Go' for Friday Launch

Wednesday is "L-2" at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, meaning there are only two days remaining until the scheduled launch of space shuttle Atlantis on its STS-132 mission. Countdown clocks across the launch complex were activated at 4 p.m. EDT Tuesday and the countdown continues on schedule for liftoff Friday at 2:20 p.m.

During the 12-day mission, Atlantis and the mission's six astronauts are delivering an Integrated Cargo Carrier and a Russian-built Mini Research Module to the International Space Station.

"From a Space Shuttle Program and ISS Program standpoint, we're ready to launch Atlantis and get this mission under way," said Mike Moses, chair of the prelaunch mission management team that gathered today at Kennedy and gave a unanimous "go" for liftoff. According to Launch Director Mike Leinbach, the launch team is not tracking any issues that would prevent an on-time liftoff.

Image above: Members of the STS-132 launch team take their stations in Firing Room 4 for the start of the STS-132 launch countdown. From left are United Space Alliance Orbiter Test Conductors Lauren Sally and Scott Kraftchick and NASA Test Directors William Heidtman and Jeffrey Skaja. Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett.

Atlantis' astronauts are relaxing today while technicians at Launch Pad 39A load the orbiter's power reactant and storage distribution system, which supplies super-cold propellants to the vehicle's three fuel cells and life-support system during flight.

A high-pressure system continues to dominate Florida's weather pattern, resulting in favorable weather for the rest of the week. The primary launch weather concern is a low cloud ceiling, but the forecast is good overall, calling for a 70 percent chance of favorable conditions at launch time.

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