Mission: Deliver parts to the International Space Station
Primary Payload: 31st station flight (ULF3), EXPRESS Logistics Carrier 1 (ELC1), EXPRESS Logistics Carrier 2 (ELC2)
Space Shuttle: Atlantis
Launch Pad: 39A
Launched: Nov. 16, 2009 at 2:28 p.m. EST
Landing Site: Kennedy Space Center, Florida
Landing: Nov. 27, 2009 at 09:44a.m. EST
Mission Duration: 10 days, 19 hours, 16 minutes, 13 seconds
Inclination/Altitude: 51.6 degrees/122 nautical miles
Miles Traveled: 4.5 million
Charlie Hobaugh, Commander
Barry Wilmore, Pilot
Leland Melvin, Mission Specialist
Mike Foreman, Mission Specialist
Robert Satcher Jr., Mission Specialist
Randy Bresnik, Mission Specialist
Nicole Stott, Mission Specialist
Space shuttle Atlantis roared into a bright-blue sky from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 2:28 p.m. EST Nov. 16 for its destination — the International Space Station.
Secured inside the shuttle’s payload bay were nearly 30,000 pounds of replacement parts and equipment that would keep the station supplied for several years to come.
Six STS-129 astronauts were aboard — Commander Charles O. Hobaugh, Pilot Barry E. Wilmore, Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Mike Foreman, Robert L. Satcher Jr. and Randy Bresnik.
After a two-day chase, Atlantis docked with the station. Once the hatches between the two spacecraft were opened, Expedition 21 Flight Engineer Nicole Stott joined the STS-129 crew as mission specialist. Stott is the last NASA astronaut to be transported to or from the space station by a space shuttle. Also, while Bresnik was aboard the orbiting laboratory, his wife gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on Earth.
Three demanding but successful spacewalks later, the Atlantis crew said their farewells to the station crew and began the two-day journey back home.
The crew spent their last full day in space preparing for landing and enjoying a surprise Thanksgiving dinner compliments of the Expedition 21 crew, packed aboard Atlantis before undocking.
Florida weather cooperated again and the Mission Control Center in Houston gave Atlantis the “go” for deorbit burn for the first landing opportunity.
Atlantis and its crew of seven made a picture-perfect touchdown on runway 33 at Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility at 9:44 a.m. EST Nov. 27.
A remarkably complex supply mission was completed after traveling more than 4.5 million miles and almost 11 days in space.