NASA Prepares for Atlantis Launch.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., April 19 (UPI) — NASA says it’s beginning final preparations for the launch of space shuttle Atlantis and its last mission to the International Space Station.

Space agency officials said Atlantis would make the 6-hour journey from NASA’s Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A atop its giant crawler-transporter beginning Monday about 8 p.m. EDT at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


Beginning Tuesday, Atlantis’ astronauts and ground crews will start the four-day Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test and related training. The terminal countdown test provides each shuttle crew with an opportunity to participate in various simulated countdown activities, including equipment familiarization and emergency training.

Atlantis is scheduled to be launched May 14 at 2:19 p.m. EDT on its STS-132 mission. The shuttle’s six astronauts will deliver a Russian-built mini research module to the space station, as well as various critical spare parts. Three spacewalks are planned during the 12-day mission.

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