NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis Lifts Off to Put Finishing Touches on the International Space Station
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - One of the final space shuttle visits to the International Space Station began at 2:20 p.m. Friday with the launch of Atlantis and six astronauts from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission will deliver cargo, critical spare parts and a Russian laboratory to the station.
The third of five shuttle missions planned for 2010, this was the last planned launch for Atlantis. The Russian-built Mini Research Module-1 is inside the shuttle's cargo bay. Also known as Rassvet (dawn in Russian), it will provide additional storage space and a new docking port for Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft. The laboratory will be attached to the bottom port of the station's Zarya module.
Ham is joined on the STS-132 mission by Pilot Tony Antonelli and Mission Specialists Garrett Reisman, Michael Good, Steve Bowen, and Piers Sellers, all veteran space fliers. Good and Sellers rode Atlantis into orbit on their first space missions in 2009 and 2002, respectively.
The shuttle crew is scheduled to dock to the station at 10:27 a.m. EDT on Sunday, May 16. The mission's three spacewalks will focus on storing spare components outside the station, including six batteries, a communications antenna and parts for the Canadian Dextre robotic arm.
After completing the 12-day STS-132 mission, the shuttle's first landing opportunity at Kennedy is scheduled for 8:44 a.m. on Wednesday, May 26. STS-132 is the 132nd shuttle flight, the 32nd flight for Atlantis and the 34th shuttle mission dedicated to station assembly and maintenance.
NASA's Web coverage of STS-132 includes mission information, a press kit, interactive features, news conference images, graphics and videos. Mission coverage, including the latest NASA Television schedule, is available on the main space shuttle Web site at: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle
NASA is providing continuous television and Internet coverage of the mission. NASA TV features live mission events, daily status news conferences and 24-hour commentary. For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and schedule information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
Daily news conferences with STS-132 mission managers will take place at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Johnson will operate a telephone bridge for media briefings outside of normal business hours. To use this service, reporters must have valid media credentials issued by a NASA center or issued specifically for the STS-132 mission.
Journalists planning to use the service must contact the Johnson newsroom at 281-483-5111 no later than 15 minutes prior to the start of a briefing. Newsroom personnel will verify credentials and transfer reporters to the phone bridge. Phone bridge capacity is limited, so it will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Live updates to the NASA News Twitter feed will be added throughout the mission and landing. To access the feed, go to the NASA.gov
homepage or visit: http://www.twitter.com/nasa
For more information about the space station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station
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