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STS-115 Prelaunch Astronaut Training
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With the mission STS-115 launch window set to open in late August, the astronauts spent three days at NASA's Kennedy Space Center for some final prelaunch training.

On a hot Florida afternoon, the six crew members landed in T-38 trainer jets at the Shuttle Landing Facility, where they met with the news media.

During the week, the astronauts practiced emergency escape methods involving the slidewire baskets and M-113 armored personnel carriers.

This safety training could help them rapidly exit the launch pad area in the event of an emergency at the pad.

Commander Brent Jett and Pilot Chris Ferguson practiced landings at the Shuttle Landing Facility using the Shuttle Training Aircraft.

With Atlantis on the launch pad behind them, the crew members held a question-and-answer session with news media as the week's activities progressed.

The exercises culminated with a launch dress rehearsal and simulated countdown with the look and feel of a real launch day.

The astronauts -- dressed in the familiar bright-orange launch and entry suits -- traveled to the launch pad in the "Astrovan," -- just as they will on launch day.

At the pad, they were strapped in their seats aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis and the launch team took them through the mock countdown.

After the countdown rehearsal, the astronauts checked the mission payload -- already stowed in the cargo bay -- before departing in the T-38 jets for their trip back to Houston.

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