Atlantis Takes First Steps To Hubble


Space shuttle Atlantis was rolled over the the Vehicle Assembly Building after hunkering down in the Orbiter Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center during Tropical Storm Fay. In the VAB, Atlantis will be attached to its external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters. NASA announced that Atlantis will be moved out to Launch Pad 39A next Saturday, August 30 to prepare for launch on the STS-125 mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope one last time, targeted for an Oct. 8 liftoff.

The mobile launcher platform will bring Atlantis to he pad, atop a crawler-transporter. The crawler will travel slower than 1 mph during the 3.4-mile journey. The process is expected to take approximately six hours.

Repairs to Launch Pad 39A’s flame trench wall were completed Aug. 5 after crews installed a steel grid structure and covered it in a heat-resistant material. The pad’s north flame trench was damaged when bricks tore away from the wall during the May 31 launch of space shuttle Discovery.

NASA has several videos about the final Hubble servicing mission. Find them here.

12 Replies to “Atlantis Takes First Steps To Hubble”

  1. Its sad to see our nations space ships in such a bad shape. Why dont we upgrade already.
    What’s holding NASA back from new spaceships?

  2. This once great machine is beginning to look more and more like my old 72 Dodge Dart. I think they call it hanger rash. I suppose Bondo and some Krylon are out of the question.

  3. The Iraq war mainly… we spend billions of dollars a week there. Doesn’t leave much room for spending some extra cash in our nations space program that uses less than 1% of our nations budget.

  4. If we could just save the money we are going to spend rebuilding New Orleans below sea level again.

  5. I was ready to write something funny…but the sight of the shuttle crawling along, patched together, heading toward the patch-worked launch pad, trudging over a 40 year old crawlpad leaves me, well, utterly depressed. Sort of looks like taking a trip to the salvage yard and deciding whether there’s enough left to get something running. But never fear, Ares is here, with Orion and “test technique failures” to boot.

  6. I love the old look, it shows a well worn magnificence, and a tried and true reliability.
    It’s not all clean and gleaming and shiny like those other troublesome pointy things they are playing with now, this is like a well loved, well worn, reliable pair of hiking shoes.

    All the best Atlantis, here’s to another successful ‘ notch in your heat tiles’

  7. Money not spent on the war does not automatically go to space programs, or education, or fixing roads, or any of that without first going through those 600 and some politicians on the hill.

    Much as it sounds good to say the war is hampering space, thats simply not how our budget works.
    Its politicians that are hampering space. They are the ones tasked with finding the money and making sure it gets to Nasa’s coffers. They are also on the front lines of being sure this money is tagged in such a way that it goes to the intended programs.

    Here, they are failing. The last proposal to pass through their hands was one to extend shuttle fights with spacecraft twice as old as most cars.

    They need to fund constellation, they need to fund the upgrade of Canaveral, and they need to fund outside research programs like the X-37, cots, development of aerospike engunes, etc, etc…

    Because the US is a democracy the fault also lies in part with us. Until we make space a priority, our representatives wont see any urgency to respond or so much as educate themselves on the subject.

  8. Great post Maxwell! Now about my terrible tomato crop this year……must be the Iraq war……sigh

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