Atlantis Scheduled for August 27 Launch

NASA has announced that the space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to lift off on August 27, 2006. If all goes well, the shuttle will blast off from Cape Canaveral at 2230 GMT (4:30 pm EDT) and return to the International Space Station, finally continuing its construction. Over the course of three spacewalks, the shuttle crew will install the P3/P4 truss onto the station, which contains a set of giant solar arrays, batteries, and electronics.

NASA senior managers on Wednesday unanimously voted to launch the Space Shuttle Atlantis on Aug. 27. Commander Brent Jett and his five crewmates are scheduled to lift off at 4:30 p.m. EDT on the STS-115 mission, which restarts construction of the International Space Station.

The launch date was announced after the Flight Readiness Review, a traditional meeting in which top NASA managers and engineers determine whether the shuttle’s complex array of equipment, support systems and procedures are ready for flight and assess any risks associated with the mission.

“It was an honor to work with this team, a thrill to see another FRR,” said NASA Administrator Michael Griffin. “It was a great review, and I look forward to a great launch.”

“The teams have done a great job of getting us here. We still have some minor open work in front of us. We look forward to the return to assembly,” said Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier, who chaired the Flight Readiness Review.

Joining Commander Jett aboard shuttle Atlantis will be Pilot Chris Ferguson, mission specialists Joe Tanner, Dan Burbank, Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Steve MacLean.

The crew will install the P3/P4 truss, a girder-like structure, aboard the station. The new piece will include a set of giant solar arrays, batteries and associated electronics. There will be three spacewalks to hook up the truss and prepare the arrays for operation.

For STS-115 crew and mission information, visit:

Original Source: NASA News Release