Atlantis Prepared for Assembly

Atlantis suspended in the Vehicle Assembly Building. Image credit: NASAThe Space Shuttle Atlantis was transported to the Vehicle Assembly Building on Wednesday, beginning the preparations for its assembly. Over the coming days, technicians will attach Atlantis to its external fuel tank, and twin solid rocket boosters.

Following some additional tests, Atlantis will then make the journey to Launch Pad 39-A on February 14. If all goes well, the shuttle will blast off on March 15, 2007 at 6:43am EDT, beginning STS-117’s 11-day mission to the International Space Station.

Once in orbit, Atlantis will dock with the station and deliver the S3/S4 integrated truss. The truss includes two additional huge solar panels, which will give the station much more electrical generation capacity. These will be a mirror image to the panels installed in September 2006 by the crew of STS-115.

Original Source: NASA News Release