Astronauts Practice for Spacewalks

HOUSTON, April 27 (UPI) — The astronauts who will be aboard space shuttle Atlantis on its last flight into space practiced Tuesday for the mission’s planned three spacewalks.

The six astronauts, led by Cmdr. Ken Ham, spent the day at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston after participating in last week’s Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test at the Kennedy Space Center. The crew Tuesday prepared for the mission’s spacewalks by practicing their procedures in Johnson’s Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory.

Workers at Kennedy’s Launch Pad 39A said they completed work on the solid rock booster’s aft skirts Tuesday as they continued preparing Atlantis for the 12-day mission.

Atlantis and its crew will deliver an Integrated Cargo Carrier and a Russian-built Mini Research Module to the International Space Station. The payload has been installed in the shuttle’s cargo bay.

Liftoff is targeted for 2:20 p.m. EDT, May 14.

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