Feeds

Atlantis crew gears up for Monday launch

Poses for cheerful snap ahead of ISS jaunt

Remote control for virtualized desktops

The crew of space shuttle Atlantis has arrived at Kennedy Space Center ahead of Monday's slated launch of mission STS-129 to the International Space Station.

The Atlantis crew. Pic: NASA

Posing for the camera on the tarmac were (from left) mission specialist Leland Melvin, pilot Barry E Wilmore, commander Charles O Hobaugh, and mission specialists Randy Bresnik, Mike Foreman and Robert L Satcher Jr.

The STS-129 mission patch. Pic: NASAHobaugh told the assembled press: "It's a real honor and pleasure to be here. This has been the culmination of at least nine months of us being together as a crew … we've been deeply entrenched in our training, getting to develop all of our individual requirements for accomplishing our objectives for this mission."

One of the 11-day mission's objectives is to deliver spares to the ISS to "keep the station going long after the shuttles retire".

Two external logistics carriers, aka ELCs, will be packed with "two pump modules, two control moment gyroscopes, two nitrogen tank assemblies, an ammonia tank assembly, a high-pressure gas tank... power control unit, a plasma container unit, a cargo transportation container and a battery charge/discharge unit".

NASA summarises: "Some of those spares would be used to replace failed components of the systems that provide the station power or keep it from overheating or tumbling through space."

The Atlantis team will carry out three spacewalks. One of the EVA tasks is to prepare the ISS for delivery of the Tranquility node on Endeavour's STS-130 mission, pencilled for a 4 February 2010 lift-off. This will involve "routing connections and preparing the berthing port on the Harmony node" onto which Tranquility will finally be bolted.

The six-windowed cupola being mated to Tranquility. Pic: NASA

Tranquility will be the "last major United States addition to the space station", and comprises expanded living space and a "six-windowed cupola" (pictured above being mated to Tranquility), from which residents will be able to enjoy the view.

Atlantis is due to blast off on Monday at 19:28 GMT. It will return to Earth with mission specialist Nicole Stott, who's been on the ISS since arriving aboard Discovery on STS-128 at the end of August.

NASA has an STS-129 mission overview here, mission summary here (pdf), press kit here (pdf) and more on the crew here. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
HUGE SHARK as big as a WWII SUBMARINE died out, allowing whales to exist
Who'd win a fight: Megalodon or a German battleship?
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Business security measures using SSL
Examines the major types of threats to information security that businesses face today and the techniques for mitigating those threats.