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STS-132: Astronauts Practice Launch Countdown
In preparation for liftoff of space shuttle Atlantis on the STS-132 mission, the six-member crew arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The astronauts flew to Kennedy to conduct the prelaunch training and countdown dress rehearsal, officially known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test.
The training began with the standard instruction on driving the M-113 armored personnel carriers as part of their emergency escape training.
They rehearsed evacuation procedures at Launch Pad 39A, where Atlantis is undergoing launch preparations.
Crew members had an opportunity for a final fit check of their familiar orange launch-and-entry suits, and a chance to answer questions from media representatives who gathered for a news conference at the launch pad.
Ken Ham/STS-132 Commander: There’s an incredible amount of activity going on right now in the space world and we should all be enjoying it. I can tell you for sure the six of us are.
The centerpiece of the crew's most recent training was a launch dress rehearsal and practice countdown with the look and feel of a real launch day.
This sets the stage for Atlantis and crew to fly a 12-day mission to the International Space Station.
With the exercises behind them, the astronauts will continue training at their home base, NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, before returning to Florida for their targeted May launch.
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