NASA Prepares for Space Shuttle Atlantis Liftoff for STS-129 Mission

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., Nov. 12 (UPI) — The six astronauts who will be aboard space shuttle Atlantis on its STS-129 mission began their pre-launch activities at Cape Canaveral, Fla., Thursday.

The astronauts, who were under medical quarantine at the Johnson Space Center in Houston this week, were to arrive Thursday afternoon at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, with the launch countdown officially beginning Friday at 1 p.m. EST. Liftoff is scheduled for Monday at 2:28 p.m.

The STS-129 mission will be commanded by Charles Hobaugh and piloted by Barry Wilmore. The mission’s astronauts are Dr. Robert Satcher Jr., Mike Foreman, Randy Bresnik and Leland Melvin. Wilmore, Satcher and Bresnik will be making their first trips into space, NASA said.

Officials said Atlantis will deliver two gyroscopes and other equipment to the international space station, with the mission to include three spacewalks to adjust the station’s robotic arms.

Atlantis also will return station crew member Nicole Stott to Earth, making the mission the final scheduled space shuttle crew rotation flight.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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