Feeds

'3-2-1 ... Good Morning Atlantis!'

Kennedy workers' emotional salute to last ever shuttle crew

The next step in data security

The crew of space shuttle Atlantis were this morning roused by a message from employees of Kennedy Space Center, preceded by a snippet of Aaron Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man.

The Kennedy personnel took to the tarmac to shout: "Three... two... one... Good morning, Atlantis! Kennedy salutes you. See you back at wheels stop!"

On board Atlantis, Commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley, and mission specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim have stowed kit, and tested the shuttle's control surfaces and thrusters ahead of tomorrow's return to Kennedy.

Following those standard pre-landing procedures, they deployed the Pico-Satellite Solar Cell (PSSC 2) tech demonstration satellite from the shuttle's cargo bay. The diminutive 5" x 5" x 10" (12.7 x 12.7 x 25.4cm) nanosat is, according to page 100 of NASA's STS-135 mission press pack (PDF), packing two experiments.

NASA explains: "First, the Miniature Tracking Vehicle (MTV) experiment goal is to demonstrate the capability of a nano-satellite to serve as an orbiting reference for ground tracking systems while demonstrating 3-axis attitude control; solid rocket propulsion for orbit modification; adaptive communications; and active solar cell performance monitoring in a nanosatellite platform.

"The second experiment, Compact Total Electron Content Sensor (CTECS), will demonstrate a CubeSat form factor space weather sensor with the capability to detect ionospheric density. It uses a modified commercial GPS receiver to detect differences in radio signals generated by occulting GPS satellites."

NASA sombrely notes that PSSC 2 will be "the last satellite ever deployed by the Space Shuttle Program".

NASA has everything you need to know about the final flight of Atlantis right here. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Bacon-related medical breakthrough wins Ig Nobel prize
Is there ANYTHING cured pork can't do?
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.