Kennedy Space Center, Fla.
NASA's Shuttle Atlantis Rolls to Vehicle Assembly Building
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis completed a milestone to move it one step closer to a targeted March launch. Early Wednesday drivers moved Atlantis from the Orbiter Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Atlantis, perched on top of the giant, 76-wheel crawler-transporter, began its move at 6:19 a.m. EST. It arrived in the Vehicle Assembly Building at 7:24 a.m.
In the assembly building, technicians will attach Atlantis to its propulsion elements: an external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters. Following those operations, final integration, preparations and closeouts will begin in preparation for flight.
The next milestone for Atlantis is the 3.4-mile trip to Launch Pad 39A in preparation for its 11-day mission, designated STS-117, to continue construction of the International Space Station. The crew's six astronauts will install a new truss segment, retract a set of solar arrays and unfold a new set on the starboard side of the station. Lessons learned from two previous missions will provide the astronauts with new techniques and tools to perform their duties.
News media are invited to attend the rollout of Atlantis to the launch pad, scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 14. First motion of the vehicle out of the building is targeted for 7 a.m.
The Kennedy News Center will open for media activities Wednesday at 6 a.m. Reporters are asked to be ready for transportation to the assembly building by 6:30 a.m. Since dates and times of this event are subject to change, updates are available by calling 321-867-2525.
Permanently badged media interested in attending this event are asked to contact the press site at 321-867-2468 by Tuesday, Feb. 13. Media without Kennedy credentials should submit requests via the accreditation Web site at: https://media.ksc.nasa.gov
NASA TV will provide live coverage of the rollout of Atlantis to the launch pad beginning at 7 a.m. EST Wednesday, Feb. 14. For NASA TV downlink, streaming video and scheduling information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
For more information on the STS-117 mission and crew, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle
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