Friday, September 01, 2006

Shuttle on for Sep 6


Grey Hautaluoma
Headquarters, Washington

Bruce Buckingham
Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

RELEASE: 06-308


Following a detailed inspection of NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis at
the Kennedy Space Center, Fla., the six-member crew has a new launch
date to begin the STS-115 mission to the International Space Station.
The lift-off from Kennedy is set for 12:29 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Sept.

Shuttle managers decided on the launch date after assessing conditions
at Kennedy following Tropical Depression Ernesto. The center's
facilities and Atlantis, which sits on Launch Pad 39-B, sustained no
damage during the storm.

If weather or other issues prevent Atlantis' launch on Sept. 6,
opportunities are available on Sept. 7 and 8. All dates allow for
completion of the mission's objectives and allow for shuttle
undocking from the station by Sept. 17. This is necessary so the
Russian Soyuz taking the next space station crew up to the orbiting
laboratory can launch Sept. 18.

Many of the standard launch preparations were completed before the
shuttle's partial move to the center's landmark Vehicle Assembly
Building and return to the launch pad on Tuesday. During the next
several days, teams will focus on completing pre-launch tasks, so an
official countdown can begin Sunday at 8 a.m. EDT.

The STS-115 crew, Commander Brent Jett, Pilot Chris Ferguson, and
mission specialists Joe Tanner, Dan Burbank, Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper
and Canadian astronaut Steve MacLean, is in Houston conducting launch
simulations. The astronauts will return to Kennedy on Saturday
morning. They already have begun adjusting their sleep cycles to
match their timeline in orbit that changed due to the new launch

During STS-115, Atlantis' astronauts will deliver and install the
17.5-ton, bus-sized P3/P4 integrated truss segment on the station.
The girder-like truss includes a set of giant solar arrays, batteries
and associated electronics. The P3/P4 truss segment will provide
one-fourth of the total power-generation capability for the completed

For information about the STS-115 crew and mission, visit: