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STS-129: Atlantis Crew Prepares for Launch
In preparation for liftoff of space shuttle Atlantis on the STS-129 mission, the six-member crew returned to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to finish prelaunch training, officially known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test.
During an earlier visit, the astronauts practiced driving the M-113 armored personnel carriers as part of their emergency escape training.
They rehearsed evacuation procedures at Launch Pad 39A, where space shuttle 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.
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.
The astronauts also got a chance to check the mission's payload stowed inside the shuttle's cargo bay.
This sets the stage for Atlantis and crew to fly an 11-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 launch.
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