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Kirock

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The Space Shuttle Atlantis successfully

 

launched after delays for weather

and fuel cell problems.

 

 

The Space Shuttle Atlantis lifts off from Launch

Pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center.

 

 

Sept. 9, 2:40 p.m. EDT. At 4:30 p.m. EDT, Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale will present a Mission Status Briefing live on NASA TV.
 
At the post-launch news conference from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, NASA officials and mission managers expressed excitement at the successful launch of Atlantis and looked forward to the mission ahead.
 
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin said, "Once again, it's an honor to be associated with this program and with this team and to watch them work. What you saw today was a flawless count and a majestic launch."
 
Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations added, "The team did an awesome job. It wasn't easy getting here. They hung together through a lot of adverse circumstances."
 
Looking ahead to the work slated for the astronauts, Gerstenmaier said, "They've got a very busy mission ahead of them." He added, "They're ready to go."
 
Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off from Kennedy Space Center and charged into the midday Florida sky on a mission to boost power on the International Space Station. The launch was on time, with liftoff at 11:15 a.m. EDT. Over the 11-day mission, the six-member crew will perform three spacewalks to install the P3/P4 integrated truss and solar arrays on the station, doubling the current power-generating capability of the orbiting outpost.

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Crew Conducts Heat Shield Inspection.

Shuttle to Dock With Station Monday

 

 

The shuttle's robot arm is maneuvered into position over Atlantis' pay-

load bay prior to the attachment of the orbiter boom sensor system.

 

 

The STS-115 crew conducted heat shield inspections Sunday as Space Shuttle Atlantis continued its chase of the International Space Station. The crew performed two sets of inspections to see if Atlantis was damaged during its climb into space on Saturday.

During the first set, the crew used the orbiter boom sensor system, attached to the end of the shuttle’s robot arm, to perform thorough inspections of wing leading edges and the nose cap. After the boom was returned to the payload bay, the astronauts used the arm to take a look at the crew cabin and other areas on Atlantis’ upper surface.

In other activities, STS-115 crew members prepared for their arrival at the International Space Station and the upcoming spacewalks. STS-115 is slated to dock with the orbital outpost at 6:46 a.m. EDT Monday.

Atlantis’ arrival at the station will signal the resumption of on-orbit construction of the station with the delivery of the P3/P4 truss segment and a new set of solar arrays. The STS-115 crew will conduct three spacewalks to install and prepare the truss and arrays for operation.

The STS-115 crew entered their scheduled sleep period at 4:15 p.m. Sunday and will wake up at 12:15 a.m. Monday.

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Astronauts Prepare For Spacewalk

With A Little Campout

 

 

STS-115 Mission Specialist Joe Tanner exits the Quest Airlock

during preparations for the mission’s first spacewalk. The spacesuits,

which Tanner and Mission Specialist Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper

will wear, can be seen just behind him in the airlock.

 

 

NASA managers decided that no focused inspection of Atlantis' heat shield is required at this point in the mission. Had such inspections been necessary, a day would have been added. The space shuttle crew continues its mission as planned.

STS-115 Mission Specialists Joe Tanner and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper are on a “campout” in the International Space Station’s Quest Airlock. They are spending the night in the airlock in preparation for their first spacewalk, which takes place after the P3/P4 integrated truss is attached to the station on Tuesday.

The 45-foot-long truss structure, which contains a set of solar arrays, is slated to be attached to the P1 truss at 4 a.m. EDT. The spacewalkers will begin their excursion at 5:15 a.m. to prepare the truss for solar array deployment.

“Camping out” helps the spacewalkers begin the spacewalk earlier by reducing the amount of time typically required for the pre-breathe exercise and some spacewalk preparations.

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Crew Installs Truss Segment,

Conducts Spacewalk

 

 

STS-115 Mission Specialist Joe Tanner exits the hatch

at the beginning of the mission's first spacewalk.

 

 

The STS-115 crew successfully attached the P3/P4 truss segment to the International Space Station and conducted a spacewalk today to begin efforts to prepare it for operation. These activities marked the resumption of the on-orbit construction of the space station.

The new truss element, which includes a set of new solar arrays, was attached to the station at 5:06 a.m. EDT. Mission Specialists Joe Tanner and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper began their excursion at 5:17 a.m. They installed power and data cables between the P1 and P3/P4 structures in preparation for solar array deployment. They also released launch restraints on the Solar Array Blanket Box and performed other tasks to configure the structure for upcoming activities.

The duo moved through the spacewalk so quickly flight controllers in the Mission Control Center in Houston gave them permission to complete tasks scheduled for future spacewalks.

One of these tasks involved removing the launch locks from the Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ). To access the launch locks for removal, spacewalkers must also remove existing covers. As Tanner removed cover 21, a bolt and washer came off and floated into space.

During a status briefing today, ISS Flight Director John McCullough and Lead Spacewalk Director John Haensly confirmed the items did not go into the structure. More precaution will be taken in tomorrow's spacewalk as Mission Specialists Dan Burbank and Steve MacLean continue to remove the SARJ launch locks.

The new 17.5-ton, 45-foot truss will provide power, data and communication services for the station. The arrays will be unfurled to a full length of 240 feet Thursday and will eventually double the station’s power capabilities.

Mission Specialist Dan Burbank coordinated the spacewalk activities. Mission Specialist Steve MacLean and Expedition 13 Flight Engineer Jeff Williams operated the station’s robotic arm, which was used to install the P3/P4. It was the first of three scheduled spacewalks.

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Crew Conducts Second Spacewalk,

Engineers Look at Rotary Joint

 

 

STS-115 Mission Specialist Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper is pictured

outside the station during the mission's first spacewalk.

 

 

The STS-115 astronauts wrapped up a busy Wednesday that featured the mission’s second spacewalk to prepare the International Space Station’s P3/P4 truss for operation. The 17.5-ton, 45-foot truss was attached to the station Tuesday. The P3/P4 will provide power, data and communication services for the station.

During the 7-hour, 11-minute spacewalk, Mission Specialists Dan Burbank and Steve MacLean removed launch locks and launch restraints on the Solar Alpha Rotary Joint (SARJ), which will allow the arrays to track the sun. During the remainder of the spacewalk, the astronauts were instructed to perform get-ahead tasks. They prepared the P3 truss for use by the Mobile Transporter – a platform that allows the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2, to move along the Integrated Truss Structure.
Following the conclusion of the spacewalk, controllers sent up commands to engage the second drive lock assembly of the SARJ but did not receive an indication it had been properly engaged. More commands were sent, still no indication had been received that the drive assembly had engaged. Engineers are looking at the issue and have decided to temporarily delay unfurling the solar arrays. The arrays may be unfurled to a full length of 240 feet Thursday.

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Astronauts Spread New Wings,

Prepare for Spacewalk

 

 

Shuttle Commander Brent Jett (left) and Canadian Astronaut

Steve MacLean answer questions from Canadian students.

 

 

Space Shuttle Atlantis astronauts spread a second set of wings for the International Space Station today. The new solar arrays were fully extended at 8:44 a.m. EDT.

The new arrays span a total of 240 feet and have a width of 38 feet. They are attached to the station’s newest component, the P3/P4 integrated truss segment. The installation of the P3/P4, which occurred Tuesday, and the deployment of the arrays sets the stage for future expansion of the station.

Today’s deployment occurred in stages to allow the arrays to warm up, which prevents them from sticking while being deployed. The first stage began about 6:27 a.m. EDT.

During an interview with U.S. media, STS-115 Commander Brent Jett said the credit for the successful deployment plan belongs to the engineers and flight controllers on the ground. “It went very, very smoothly,” Jett said. “It was really a tribute to the team on the ground that has been working on it for the past six years. They put together a great plan.”

However, the crew members could not enjoy the moment long because their attention quickly turned to the mission’s third and final spacewalk. Mission Specialists Joe Tanner and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper entered the station Quest Airlock prior to the crew’s sleep period to begin the pre-spacewalk “campout.”

“Camping out” helps the spacewalkers begin the spacewalk earlier by reducing the amount of time typically required for the pre-breathe exercise and some spacewalk preparations.

Friday’s spacewalk is slated to begin at 5:15 a.m. EDT.

In other activities Thursday, crew members commanded the station’s robot arm to move from the Mobile Base System to the Destiny Laboratory. Also, Jett and Canadian Space Agency Astronaut Steve MacLean answered questions from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and students.

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Spacewalkers Wrap Up Third Spacewalk

 

 

Mission Specialist Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper egresses the airlock at

the beginning of the third spacewalk of the STS-115 mission.

 

 

Astronauts Joe Tanner and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper completed STS-115’s triple play by successfully conducting the mission’s third spacewalk at the International Space Station. During the 6-hour, 42-minute excursion, Tanner and Piper continued efforts to prepare the station’s newly installed P3/P4 truss segment for operation and also completed other tasks devoted to the assembly and maintenance of the station. The spacewalk came to a close at 12:42 p.m. EDT.

Shortly after beginning the spacewalk at 6 a.m., Tanner and Piper retrieved a materials exposure experiment from the station’s exterior and performed maintenance on the P6 truss. The spacewalkers then moved to the P3/P4 truss, where they prepared a radiator for deployment. Flight controllers unfurled the radiator, a device that will remove heat from the station, at 9:11 a.m.

Tanner and Piper also installed a wireless TV antenna on the station and replaced a faulty antenna assembly on the S1 truss. Near the end of the spacewalk, Tanner and Piper conducted a test to evaluate infrared video of Space Shuttle Atlantis’ wing leading edge. They also performed get-ahead tasks that were slated to take place on future spacewalks.

Mission Specialist Dan Burbank coordinated spacewalk activities, and Mission Specialist Steve MacLean oversaw station robotic arm operations. During this mission, MacLean became the first Canadian astronaut to operate the arm built by his home country.

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Atlantis, STS-115 Crew to

Leave Station Sunday

 

 

The Expedition 13 crew (front row) and the STS-115

crew conduct a joint news conference.

 

 

The STS-115 astronauts enjoyed some off duty time and transferred cargo Saturday, their last full day at the International Space Station. Space Shuttle Atlantis and the STS-115 crew are slated to undock at 8:50 a.m. EDT Sunday.

The crew members received free time Saturday morning. This came on the heels of a four-day stretch in which they performed three spacewalks in a four-day period. The spacewalks featured tasks to prepare the station’s newly installed P3/P4 integrated truss for operation. The crew attached the truss to the station Sept. 12 prior to the start of the first spacewalk.

The transfer activities included loading Atlantis with station items that are returning to Earth, including science experiment results.

The STS-115 and Expedition 13 crews also held the traditional joint crew news conference earlier today. STS-115 Commander Brent Jett said this mission is a good start to the series of upcoming construction flights. “All of the rest of the assembly missions are going to be challenging.” Jett said. “We have similar payloads flying in the future. We are off to a good start on assembly. I think we can pass along a lot of the lessons to the future crews.”

Atlantis is scheduled to land at 5:57 a.m. on Wednesday at the Space Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

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Atlantis Undocks From Space Station,

Crew to Conduct Inspections


 

Space Shuttle Atlantis is viewed from the space station

while performing a fly-around after undocking.

 

 

Space Shuttle Atlantis undocked from the International Space Station at 8:50 a.m. EDT Sunday, ending STS-115’s successful stay and setting the stage for future assembly missions. Now, the STS-115 crew members will turn their attention to returning to Earth.

Atlantis delivered the P3/P4 integrated truss to the station on Sept. 11. The STS-115 and Expedition 13 crews used the shuttle and station robotic arms to attach the truss to the orbital outpost. Then, STS-115 astronauts conducted three spacewalks in four days to prepare the truss and its solar arrays for operation.

After Atlantis undocked, Pilot Chris Ferguson performed a 360-degree fly-around of the station to allow his crewmates to collect imagery of the newly-expanded station.

On Monday, the crew will use the robotic arm and boom sensor system to conduct an inspection of Atlantis’ heat shield. The purpose of the post-docking inspection is to look for damage from space junk and micrometeoroids.

Atlantis is scheduled to touch down at 5:57 a.m. Wednesday at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

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Crew Inspects Heat Shield

 

 

A camera aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis captured this view

of the payload bay shortly before the start of the

inspection of the shuttle's heat shield.

 

 

The STS-115 crew stretched out Space Shuttle Atlantis' arm on Monday to conduct orbiter heat shield inspections.

The crew used the robotic arm and boom sensor system to check out Atlantis’ leading wing edges and nose cap. Post-docking inspections are designed to ensure that the orbiter’s heat shield did not receive damage from space junk and micrometeoroids.

The six-member crew also began stowing items in preparation for the return to Earth. Otherwise, it was a light day of duty for the crew members.

Atlantis is scheduled to touch down at 5:59 a.m. EDT Wednesday at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. Landing will bring to an end STS-115’s successful mission to the International Space Station.

Atlantis delivered the P3/P4 integrated truss to the station on Sept. 11. The STS-115 and Expedition 13 crews used the shuttle and station robotic arms to attach the truss to the orbital outpost. Then, STS-115 astronauts conducted three spacewalks in four days to prepare the truss and its solar arrays for operation. Atlantis departed the station at 8:50 a.m. Sunday.

The weather forecast at Kennedy Space Center calls for a chance of thunderstorms in the vicinity, high cross winds and low cloud ceilings.

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Object Investigation, Weather Force Managers

to Wave Off Wednesday Landing

 

 

The STS-115 crew answers questions from the media.

 

 

The Mission Control Center in Houston informed the STS-115 crew about 10:45 a.m. EDT that Wednesday’s landing attempts have been waved off due to an unfavorable weather forecast, coupled with the possibility of additional inspections of Space Shuttle Atlantis.

An object was observed by flight controllers using a TV camera on the shuttle in close proximity to the spacecraft. It was observed following standard tests of Atlantis’ reaction control system about 2:45 a.m. today. Flight controllers continue to analyze the situation and are concerned the item may be something that came off of Atlantis.

 

Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale said engineers and flight controllers are developing a plan for inspections that may be performed on Wednesday to ensure that Atlantis is safe for re-entry. Atlantis has equipment aboard that can be used to thoroughly inspect the heat shield and other areas.

During the post-Mission Management Team briefing at 12 p.m., the STS-115 crew informed Mission Control that one of the crew members spotted a small object near the shuttle. The crew captured imagery of it and will downlink it to MCC for analysis.

At about 12:46 p.m., MCC instructed the crew to power up the Atlantis’ robot arm so that its elbow camera can be used to survey the orbiter. Landing opportunities for Atlantis on Thursday begin with a potential 6:22 a.m. touchdown at the Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Atlantis’ mission has resumed the construction of the International Space Station. Atlantis delivered the P3/P4 integrated truss to the station on Sept. 11. The STS-115 and Expedition 13 crews used the shuttle and station robotic arms to attach the truss to the orbital outpost. Then STS-115 astronauts conducted three spacewalks in four days to prepare the truss and its solar arrays for operation.

The weather forecast at Kennedy Space Center calls for better weather at the Shuttle Landing Facility on Thursday. Forecasters will continue to monitor the situation. The weather forecast for Wednesday had called for unacceptable thunderstorms and strong winds at the potential landing time.

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Atlantis Cleared for Re-Entry,

Crew Eyes Thursday Landing

 

 

A camera on Atlantis' robotic arm captured this image

of the shuttle's payload bay and crew cabin.

 

 

Mission Control Houston gave the STS-115 crew good news Wednesday morning: Mission managers cleared Space Shuttle Atlantis for landing. The first available landing opportunity is at 6:21 a.m. EDT Thursday at Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

The word came after engineers reviewed heat shield inspections performed by the crew. The inspections were conducted to ensure all of Atlantis’ critical equipment is in good shape.

To get ready for landing, the crew packed up gear and stowed the Ku-Band antenna, which is used for most shuttle television transmissions.

Forecasts for Thursday call for acceptable weather at the Florida landing site.

Atlantis’ first and prime landing opportunity begins with a de-orbit burn at 5:14 a.m., to start the descent to Florida. A second opportunity is available, beginning with a de-orbit burn at 6:51 a.m. leading to a landing at 7:57 a.m. in Florida.

The STS-115 mission has resumed the construction of the International Space Station. Atlantis delivered the P3/P4 integrated truss to the station on Sept. 11. The STS-115 and Expedition 13 crews used the shuttle and station robotic arms to attach the truss to the orbital outpost. Then STS-115 astronauts conducted three spacewalks in four days to prepare the truss and its solar arrays for operation.

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STS-115 Astronauts Agree

Mission Went 'Very Well'

 

 

The Space Shuttle Atlantis returns safely to Earth after

a successful, extended, mission to work on the

International Space Station solar arrays.

 

 

After embracing a chance to meet with their families, the STS-115 astronauts finished up their landing day answering questions from the media during a televised news conference. Mission Commander Brent Jett reflected on the success of the flight, which delivered a new solar array truss to the International Space Station. "The mission from our standpoint went off very well," summarized Jett.

The commander continued by offering congratulatory thoughts on each of his crew members. Of Pilot Chris Ferguson, Jett said: "He backed me up, kept me out of trouble. It was a real privilege to fly with him." Jett also greatly praised first time astronaut and spacewalker Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper. "Heidi is a natural… she is a very clever person and came up with a lot of ideas that you don't usually get from a first time flier," said Jett.

After a good night's sleep in the crew quarters at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., the astronauts will return home to Johnson Space Center in Houston on Friday. There, the crew will enjoy a happy homecoming as thanks for the successful completion of what is quickly being regarded as one of the most complex and productive space missions in history.

Atlantis glided to a predawn landing at 6:21 a.m. EDT, concluding a successful mission to resume construction of the International Space Station. Launched Sept. 9, the orbiter arrived at the station on the 11th to delivered and install the P3/P4 integrated truss segment duirng three successful spacewalks.

 

 

Safely back on Earth, the STS-115 crew poses at the Shuttle

Landing Facility in front of Atlantis, the orbiter that carried them

on their 12-day mission to the International Space Station.

 

And so ends yet another successful mission for NASA's

Space Shuttle program. A spectacular mission followed

by a picture perfect landing. The Space Station

building program is back in business.

 

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