Atlantis Moves Out to the Launch Pad

Atlantis at the launch pad. Image credit: NASAThe space shuttle Atlantis made its journey out to the launch pad on Thursday, perched atop the slow-moving crawler transporter. If everything goes well, Atlantis will blast off on March 15, beginning an 11-day visit to the International Space Station to install a new truss segment.

Before the liftoff, the launch team and astronauts will perform a full launch dress rehearsal from February 21st to the 23rd. This will give everyone involved an opportunity to test out their contingency plans and emergency readiness.

Once Atlantis does launch on the 15th, the crew will help install the new truss segment, retract an old set of solar arrays, and unfurl the the new, larger starboard arrays on the station.

Original Source: NASA News Release