Only Three Shuttle Missions Remaining. Then It’s Over.

by Daniel Russ on May 13, 2010

Space Shuttle On Booster

“KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — Space shuttle Atlantis and its six-man, all-veteran crew remained on track for launch at 2:20 p.m. EDT May 14 to begin the STS-132 mission to the International Space Station, currently expected to be the final flight for OV-104.

“We’re ready to launch Atlantis and get this mission underway,” said Mike Moses, launch integration manager at Kennedy Space Center and chair of the Mission Management Team, which formally convened May 12.

“We really had nothing to talk about. In fact, I stretched the meeting out to 18 minutes long today. It was a challenge,” Moses told reporters.

Atlantis carries the Russian Mini Research Module 1, a combination docking port and logistics module that is expected to be installed on the station’s FGB nadir port two days after Atlantis arrives at the station.

On May 12, space station commander Oleg Kotov and flight engineers Soichi Noguchi and Timothy Creamer repositioned a Soyuz capsule that had been parked at the FGB’s nadir port and flew it to an alternative berth on the aft end of the Zvezda service module. “We’re not tracking any issues right now at all that would prevent an on-time liftoff Friday,” Launch Director Mike Leinbach said.”

Source: Aviation Week

This is the third to last mission of this venerable 25 year old ship. The Discovery will also be at the launch pad in case something or someone needs saving. But it is sad. This will be the last low orbit insertion vehicle we have for a while and soon we will have to outsource the rest to Russia.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Shaun May 14, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Three more, then we have to start hitch’n rides with the Russians.

C’mon! Somethings not right there… is it?

Daniel Russ May 15, 2010 at 10:04 am

It’s a new day. I hate seeing the US without a low orbit vehicle. But you can’t fight two wars at the same time and expect to have a national budget untouched.

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