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Launch Preps



Aug. 14, 2000 
Atlantis makes 9-hour crawl to launch pad
By Tom Breen
FLORIDA TODAY
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The shuttle Atlantis was scheduled to arrive today at 
a Kennedy Space Center launch pad in preparation for an early September 
flight to the International Space Station. 

Atlantis' move from the Vehicle Assembly Building at KSC, where shuttles 
undergo final preparations for flight, to Launch Pad 39B a few miles away was 
expected to take about nine hours. 

During the move, which began late Sunday, Atlantis was the equivalent of a 
184-foot-tall building, riding atop a 6-million-pound transporter called a 
crawler. 

The crawler, moving about 1 mph, was expected to have the shuttle in place at 
the launch pad about 8 a.m. 

The move to the pad was to start a busy week for the Atlantis team, with the 
seven-member flight crew expected to arrive Tuesday from Houston for a launch 
dress rehearsal on Thursday and Friday. 

Led by commander Terry Wilcutt, the Atlantis crew is to launch from KSC 
between 8:31 a.m. and 8:41 a.m. Sept. 8. 

Atlantis will carry about 5,000 pounds of equipment, food and water to the 
station, which will be the site of a wide range of space research during the 
next two decades. 

Wilcutt and the others will prepare the station for the first resident crew, 
which is set to arrive at the station in November. 

"We have to literally make (the station) a home," Wilcutt said in a recent 
interview at Johnson Space Center in Houston. "We've got a house, but it's 
not a home yet." 

Once at the station, the crew will move the items into the station and unpack 
a Russian Progress spacecraft, as well. 

The Progress, which was launched aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket last week from 
Kazakstan, is docked at the station, awaiting Atlantis' arrival. 

In addition to Wilcutt, other Atlantis crew members for the Sept. 8 flight 
include pilot Scott Altman, astronauts Dan Burbank, Ed Lu and Rick 
Mastracchio and Russian cosmonauts Yuri Malenchenko and Boris Morukov. 

Atlantis is scheduled to return to KSC on Sept. 19 at 4:45 a.m. 
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