STS-132 Ready to Launch

The countdown continues toward the scheduled launch of space shuttle Atlantis on its STS-132 mission. At NASA Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39A, the rotating service structure has been pulled away from Atlantis in preparation for liftoff Friday at 2:20 p.m. EDT.

“We’ve had a very clean countdown so far and we’re currently on schedule, and we’re not working on any issues,” NASA Test Director Jeremy Graeber said Thursday morning.

During the 12-day mission, Atlantis and the mission’s six astronauts are delivering an Integrated Cargo Carrier and a Russian-built Mini Research Module to the International Space Station.

According to STS-132 Weather Officer Todd McNamara, the primary launch weather concern is a low cloud ceiling. But the forecast is good overall, calling for a 70 percent chance of favorable conditions at launch time.

STS-132 Overview

Space shuttle Atlantis is embarking on its final planned mission. During the 12-day flight, Atlantis and six astronauts will fly to the International Space Station, leaving behind a Russian Mini Research Module, a set of batteries for the station’s truss and dish antenna, along with other replacement parts.

Mission Summary: http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/446577main_sts132-summary.pdf

NASA astronaut Ken Ham will command an all-veteran flight crew: Pilot Tony Antonelli, and Mission Specialists Michael Good, Garrett Reisman, Piers Sellers and Steve Bowen.

After the final STS-132 Flight Readiness Review, John Shannon, Space Shuttle Program manager, pointed out that Atlantis’ last planned mission will be an exciting one.

“Twelve days, three [spacewalks], tons of robotics… We’re putting on spares that make us feel good about the long-term sustainability of the ISS, replacing batteries that have been up there for a while, and docking a Russian-built ISS module,” Shannon said. “This flight has a little bit of everything, and it’s been a great preparation for the team.”