Press Release

NASA’s Shuttle Atlantis Moves to Launch Pad, Practice Liftoff Set

By SpaceRef Editor
October 6, 2009
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NASA’s Shuttle Atlantis Moves to Launch Pad, Practice Liftoff Set

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Reporters are invited to cover space shuttle Atlantis’ move to the launch pad on Oct. 13 and the STS-129 mission crew’s dress rehearsal activities Oct. 19 to Oct. 21 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Atlantis is targeted to launch to the International Space Station Nov. 12 on an 11-day cargo flight.

Atlantis was moved from its hangar on Tuesday to Kennedy’s Vehicle Assembly Building. There it will be attached to its external fuel tank and two solid rocket boosters before its move next week to Launch Pad 39A.

The first motion of Atlantis from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the pad is targeted for 12:01 a.m. EDT on Oct. 13. The 3.4 mile journey is expected to take approximately six hours. Activities include a 6:30 a.m. photo opportunity of the shuttle’s move and an interview availability with Atlantis Flow Director Angie Brewer at 7:45 a.m. Reporters must arrive at Kennedy’s news center by 6 a.m. for transportation to the viewing area.

Live video coverage of the move will be shown on NASA Television starting at 6:30 a.m. Video highlights of the move will air on NASA TV’s Video File.

International media accreditation for these events is closed. U.S. reporters without permanent Kennedy credentials must apply for accreditation online by 3 p.m., Friday, Oct. 9, at:

Badges must be picked up before 4 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 12, at the Kennedy Space Center Badging Office on State Road 405.

Atlantis’ astronauts and ground crews will participate in the practice countdown, known as the terminal countdown demonstration test. The test provides each shuttle crew with an opportunity to participate in various simulated countdown activities, including equipment familiarization and emergency training.

Times for terminal countdown demonstration test activities still are being finalized. Activities available for press coverage will include:

– Oct. 19: STS-129 crew arrival. The astronauts will arrive in Shuttle Training Aircraft and T-38 jets at Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility. Crew arrival will be broadcast live on NASA TV.

– Oct. 20: Crew media availability. The crew will take questions from reporters at Launch Pad 39A. The session will be carried live on NASA TV.

– Oct. 21: Crew walkout photo opportunity. The astronauts will depart from the Operations and Checkout Building in their flight entry suits in preparation for the countdown demonstration test at the launch pad. The walkout will not be broadcast live but will air on NASA TV’s Video File.

Updates with times for all events will be available by calling 321-867-2525.

For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit:

For more information about the STS-129 mission and crew, visit:

SpaceRef staff editor.