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Tue, Sep 29, 2009

Challenging Week Ahead for Atlantis Techs and Crew

Atlantis Being Prepped For October 13th Rollout

Beginning a new week at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians continue working on space shuttle Atlantis to get it ready for its rollover from Orbiter Processing Facility-1 to the Vehicle Assembly Building.

The Ku band communication antenna has been stowed in the vehicle's payload bay and the payload bay doors have been closed. Technicians now are testing systems and closing them down for the targeted October 6th rollover.

Teams in Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building also are working on installing pyrotechnic charges on the solid rocket booster and external fuel tank stack today.

After Atlantis is installed onto the mobile launcher platform, the entire stack will be moved or "rolled out" to Launch Pad 39A, currently scheduled for October 13th.

Meanwhile, the STS-129 mission astronauts have a full week of mission simulations at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. Today, the crew will work in Johnson's virtual reality lab. This is a type of computer interface that is paired with virtual reality training hardware and software which helps the crew to practice working on tasks they'll be performing in space.

FMI: www.nasa.gov

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