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ISS Crew Preparations for Atlantis’s Arrival

Published by Matt on Mon Nov 16, 2009 9:13 pm via: source
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Space shuttle Atlantis lifted off from Kennedy Space Center, Fla., at 2:28 p.m. EST Monday, beginning STS-129, the 31st shuttle flight to the International Space Station.

European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne, Expedition 21 commander preparations for Atlantis’s arrival. Credit: NASA

European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne, Expedition 21 commander preparations for Atlantis’s arrival. Credit: NASA

Expedition 21 Commander Frank De Winne and Flight Engineers Robert Thirsk, Roman Romanenko, Nicole Stott, Maxim Suraev and Jeffrey Williams are making final preparations for Atlantis’s arrival, set for Wednesday.

The STS-129 mission will focus on storing spare hardware on the exterior of the station. The 11-day flight will include three spacewalks and the installation of two platforms to the station’s truss, or backbone. The platforms will hold spare parts to sustain station operations after the shuttles are retired. This equipment is large and can only be transported using the unique capability of the shuttle.

The mission also will return station crew member Nicole Stott to Earth and is slated to be the final space shuttle crew rotation flight.

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