STS-122 Training Completed

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STS-122 Training Completed
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NARRATOR: The astronauts for space shuttle Atlantis' STS-122 mission flew in to NASA's Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 18, 2007, to participate in a launch dress rehearsal and other prelaunch activities.

Known as the terminal countdown demonstration test or TCDT, the Atlantis crew members had the chance to familiarize themselves with the equipment and payload they'll be working with in space on this on this 24th shuttle mission to the International Space Station.

Veteran astronaut Steve Frick will command the flight, assisted by Pilot Alan Poindexter, Mission Specialists Rex Walheim, Stanley Love, Leland Melvin and European Space Agency astronauts Hans Schlegel and Leopold Eyharts.

After arrival at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility late in the evening, the astronauts were welcomed by media and NASA officials.

During the first round of exercises, the crew members took turns driving the M113 armored personnel carriers stationed near the launch pad.

The M113 will be available to transport the crew to safety in the unlikely event of an emergency on the pad before launch.

At the Operations and Checkout Building, the astronauts attended briefings on security and range safety and then climbed into their pressurized orange flight suits, helmets and gloves for a fit check.

Frick and Poindexter practiced landing procedures with a modified Gulfstream jet designed to simulate the shuttle gliding unpowered onto the runway.

At Launch Pad 39A, the crew inspected Atlantis' main cargo, the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory.

The 23-foot long lab is tucked inside Atlantis' payload bay for its trip to the station.

The astronauts also practiced exiting the launch pad in the slidewire baskets that could quickly take them away from the pad if necessary.

Training concluded with a full dress rehearsal of a simulated launch countdown.

The STS-122 crew left Kennedy November 20 and headed back to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston for final launch preparations.

The terminal countdown demonstration test was a major milestone in the preparations for Atlantis' launch to the International Space Station on the STS-122 mission.

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