NASA's Shuttle Atlantis at Launch Pad, Liftoff Practice Set

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., June 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After safely reaching its launch pad at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Atlantis awaits the next major milestone for its upcoming STS-135 mission to the International Space Station, the final flight of the Space Shuttle Program. The mission with four veteran astronauts is targeted to launch July 8.

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Atlantis arrived at the pad early Wednesday morning on top of a giant crawler-transporter. The crawler-transporter left Kennedy's Vehicle Assembly Building at 8:42 p.m. EDT Tuesday, May 31, and travelled less than 1 mph during the 3.4-mile journey. The shuttle was secured on the launch pad at 3:29 a.m. Wednesday.

Reporters are invited to cover a launch dress rehearsal, known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT), scheduled at Kennedy from June 20 to 23. The TCDT provides Atlantis' astronauts and ground crews with an opportunity to participate in various simulated countdown activities, including equipment familiarization and emergency training.

During the TCDT, media will have the opportunity to tour shuttle Discovery and interview experts from inside the spacecraft on June 21. Discovery currently is being decommissioned and prepared for display at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

The following media events are associated with the TCDT. All times are Eastern Daylight Time.

-- June 20: STS-135 crew arrival: The astronauts will arrive at approximately 4:45 p.m. at the Shuttle Landing Facility and make a statement. NASA Television will broadcast the arrival live.

-- June 21: Discovery Media Day: Interview and photo opportunities will be held throughout the day in Orbiter Processing Facility-2. Shuttle experts will be available for interviews from Discovery's crew compartment. Spaces are limited. To sign up for this opportunity, contact Candrea Thomas at candrea.k.thomas@nasa.gov.

-- June 22: STS-135 crew media availability: The crew will take media questions at Launch Pad 39A at 8:40 a.m. NASA TV will carry the session live.

-- June 23: STS-135 crew walkout photo opportunity: The astronauts will depart from the Operations and Checkout Building at 7:45 a.m. in their launch entry suits in preparation for the countdown demonstration test at the launch pad. The walkout will be part of the NASA TV Video File, but not covered live.

Updates for all events are available at 321-867-2525. To attend the TCDT, international journalists must apply by 5 p.m. on June 12, to allow time for processing. U.S. media representatives must apply by June 16. Reporters requesting accreditation must apply online at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

To attend crew arrival, reporters must pick up badges between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. on June 20, at the Kennedy Space Center Badging Office on State Road 405. For information about covering these events, including proper attire and meeting locations, credentialed media should visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/media.html

During the 12-day flight, Atlantis and its crew will deliver the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module filled with supplies and spare parts to sustain station operations once NASA's shuttle fleet is retired.

For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

For more information about the STS-135 mission and crew, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle

SOURCE NASA



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