Feeds

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

Kennedy workers' emotional salute to last ever shuttle crew

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
NASA eyeballs SOLAR HEAT BOMBS, MINI-TORNADOES and NANOFLARES on Sun
Astro boffins probe fiery star's hidden depths
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.