Friday, May 14, 2010

Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-132) on its way to the International Space Station

Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-132) launched today on its final flight carrying a crew of six veteran astronauts to the International Space Station. The crew consists of Ken Ham (Commander), Dominic Antonelli (Pilot), Garrett Reisman (MS1/EVA1), Michael Good (MS2/Flight Engineer/EVA3), Stephen Bowen (MS3/EVA2), and Piers Sellers (MS4/Loadmaster/Lead Robotics Officer). Launched this morning from Pad 39A, Atlantis reached an orbital insertion altitude of 122 nautical miles (226km) at an orbital inclination of 51.6 degrees. It will rendezvous with the ISS at an altitude of 190 nautical miles (350km). The mission is scheduled for 12 days with a landing at the Cape on May 26, 2010.

STS-132 is also designated as ISS assembly flight ULF4. The primary payload is the Russian built Rassvet Mini Research Module (MRM 1). The MRM-1 will contain an airlock and radiation heat exchanger, a spare elbow part for the European Robotic Arm (ERA) and a portable work platform for science hardware for performing experiments. The volume for cargo and science hardware storage on MRM 1 is 5 cubic meters.

Rassvet Mini-Research Module
Photo: NASA

STS-132 is also carrying the Integrated Cargo Carrier-Vertical Light Deployable (ICC-VLD) pallet holding a Ku-band Space to Ground Antenna (SGANT), SGANT boom assembly, Enhanced Orbital replacement Unit (ORU) Temporary Platform (EOTP) for the Canadian Dextre robotic arm extension, Video and Power Grapple fixtures (PVGF) and six new battery ORUs.

Integrated Cargo Carrier-Vertical Light Deployable Pallet
Photo: NASA

This will be the 163rd American spaceflight and the 132nd shuttle mission since STS-1. It will be the 32nd flight for Atlantis (and also its last flight).


Trish said...

I have a friend who saw this launch in person! Awesome!!!

Amnon I. Govrin said...

I was there for the NASA Tweetup. It was amazing. I highly recommend trying to get to the remaining launches tweetups if NASA has them for the two final launches.