From left: Pilot Christopher Ferguson, Mission Specialists Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper and Joseph Tanner, Commander Brent Jett, and Mission Specialists Steven MacLean and Daniel Burbank. Photo credit: NASA/Cory Huston.
The final launch rehearsal is now competed and with the replacement of a few faulty bolts on the communication antenna, Atlantis is looking A-OK for its launch later this month.
Atlantis’ six crew members will install a second set of solar arrays on the space station, doubling the station’s ability to generate power from sunlight and adding an extra 17.5 tons to its total mass.
Atlantis’ mission will include all the safety features tested on the past two shuttle flights: improved imagery during launch, heat shield inspections in orbit, and a shuttle back-flip as it approaches the station.