Lift Off of Space Shuttle Atlantis!

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Lift Off of Space Shuttle Atlantis!
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GEORGE DILLER: T-10, 9, 8, go for main engine start, 7, 6, main engine ignition, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 and liftoff of space shuttle Atlantis as Columbus sets sail on a voyage of science to the space station.

ROB NAVIAS: Houston now controlling.

VOICE: Roger roll, Atlantis.

NAVIAS: Columbus weighs anchor from its port in Florida. Atlantis on the proper alignment, heads down, wings level for the 8 1/2-minute ride to orbit, taking aim on the International Space Station for docking on Saturday. Twenty-eight seconds into the flight.

The three liquid fuel main engines soon will throttle back to 72 percent of rated performance, going in the bucket, reducing the stress on the shuttle as it breaks through the sound barrier. Atlantis three miles in altitude, seven miles downrange.

Fifty seconds into the flight, the engines beginning to throttle back up, standing by for that call from CapComm Jim Dutton.

JIM DUTTON: Atlantis, go at throttle up.

STEVE FRICK: Atlantis copies, go at throttle up.

NAVIAS: The throttle up call acknowledged by Commander Steve Frick, joined on the flight deck by Pilot Alan Poindexter, Rex Walheim and Leland Melvin. Seated down on the middeck are Stan Love and Hans Schlegel and Leopold Eyharts of the European Space Agency, Eyharts hitching a ride to his new home on the International Space Station.

One minute, 30 seconds into the flight, Atlantis already 15 miles in altitude, 16 miles downrange from the Kennedy Space Center, traveling 2,000 miles an hour. Three good main engines, three good fuel cells, three auxiliary power units all functioning normally. Standing by for solid rocket booster separation.

Booster officer confirms good solid rocket booster separation, good staging.

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