Atlantis and Crew on Deck for STS-115
Even as Discovery stands poised for liftoff on Launch Pad 39B, the crew for the following mission, STS-115 on Space Shuttle Atlantis, arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center for the three-day crew equipment interface test that is part of their training. Before every mission, each crew spends time at Kennedy working with the actual payloads and orbiter they will take into space.
Image at Right: In the Orbiter Processing Facility, STS-115 Commander Brent Jett inspects the window of the cockpit in the orbiter Atlantis. The crew is at KSC for Crew Equipment Interface Test activities, which involve equipment familiarization and inspection, a routine part of astronaut training and launch preparations. Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
Mission Commander Brent Jett, a veteran of three space missions, will lead the STS-115 crew on the 19th mission to the International Space Station.
The crew of Atlantis is scheduled to deliver and install the P3/P4 truss segment along with solar array set 2A and 4A and batteries to continue constructing the station.
Image at Left: In the Orbiter Processing Facility, Pilot Christopher Ferguson (left) and Commander Brent Jett examine tiles on the orbiter Atlantis, the designated launch vehicle for the STS-115 mission. Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
Joining Jett on the mission are three other space shuttle veterans -- Mission Specialists Joe Tanner, Dan Burbank, and Steve MacLean. Rounding out the crew are Pilot Chris Ferguson and Mission Specialist Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, both making their first space flight.
The orbiter Atlantis, which lifted off on its maiden voyage on Oct. 3, 1985, will make its 27th trip to space. Atlantis last flew in October 2002 for STS-112, when it delivered the S1 integrated truss segment to the space station. The vehicle has also delivered several other vital components to the station, including the U.S. Destiny Laboratory and the Quest Joint Airlock modules.
Image at Right: In the Orbiter Processing Facility, Mission Specialist Joseph Tanner examines a mockup of a camera that the crew will use to take photographs while in orbit. With him are crewmates Steven MacLean, who represents the Canadian Space Agency, and Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper. Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
STS-115 will mark the return to construction of the station, the main goal of the remaining space shuttle flights. The P3/P4 segments -- which are approximately 45.3 feet long -- will attach to the P1 truss on the port side of the station's integrated truss segment. Once in place, the addition of the P3/P4 trusses with their two large solar arrays will provide one-fourth of the total power-generation capability of the completed station.
Image at Left: In the Space Station Processing Facility Mission Specialists (foreground, from left) Dan Burbank, Joe Tanner, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Steve Maclean fit check equipment in a large Orbital Replaceable Unit transfer bag. Image credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
Cheryl L. Mansfield
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center