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STS-115 STATUS



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

The Atlantis crew arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida 
today to begin final preparations for mission STS-115. Flying T-38 
trainer jets, the astronauts landed at the Shuttle Landing Facility at 
11:30 a.m. EDT.

Commander Brent Jett introduced the crew and spoke briefly about the 
upcoming mission to the International Space Station. "Speaking for 
myself and my fellow crewmates, I can assure you that we are ready for 
the challenge and we're ready to restart the assembly sequence." He 
added, "We have a saying back in Texas: 'It's time to walk the walk.' "

Mission Specialist Joe Tanner expressed the crew's appreciation to all 
the space workers who have worked tirelessly to prepare for the mission, 
adding, "When we climb aboard Atlantis on Sunday, we do so with 
confidence that the vehicle is ready, prepared by the best technicians, 
engineers and managers in the business."

Later today, Jett and Pilot Chris Ferguson will return to the runway to 
practice landings in the Shuttle Training Aircraft.

The countdown officially began at noon EDT today, at the T-43 hour mark. 
The countdown includes about 36 hours of built-in hold time prior to a 
targeted 4:30 p.m. EDT launch on Sunday; it is the middle point in the 
launch window that extends for 10 minutes.

At the 10 a.m. Countdown Status Briefing, NASA Test Director Steve Payne 
reported that the launch team is working no issues, saying, "Atlantis is 
in excellent shape and we're on track for the preparations for Sunday's 
launch to bring the P3 and P4 truss to the orbiting space station and 
return her crew safely home."

STS-115 Payload Manager Robbie Ashley expressed satisfaction that the 
P3/P4 segment would be joined to the space station soon, adding, "it's 
been a long time coming." He said, "We're anxious to see them get on 
orbit and perform the job they were intended to do."

Shuttle Weather Officer Kathy Winters provided a generally positive 
outlook for launch day conditions. "Overall the weather is looking 
pretty good for launch day. We do have a 30 percent chance of weather 
prohibiting tanking in the morning," she said. "We have a 30 percent 
chance of weather prohibiting launch." She added, "Generally, pretty 
good weather when it comes to an afternoon summertime day here in Florida."

The next status briefing is scheduled for 10 a.m. EDT Friday and will be 
carried live on NASA TV.
+ Watch NASA TV <http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html>

The STS-115 crew consists of Commander Brent W. Jett Jr., Pilot 
Christopher J. Ferguson and Mission Specialists Heidemarie M. 
Stefanyshyn-Piper, Joseph R. Tanner, Daniel C. Burbank and Steven G. 
MacLean, who represents the Canadian Space Agency.
+ Learn more about the crew 
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts115/index.html>

With this mission, NASA is ready to get back to building the 
International Space Station, marking the first time in almost four years 
that a space station component has been added to the orbiting outpost. 
That also means the shuttle program is coming up on some of the most 
challenging space missions ever.
+ Learn more about the mission 
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts115/mission_overview.html>

During their three spacewalks, crew members of Atlantis will install the 
P3/P4 integrated truss and a second set of solar arrays on the space 
station, doubling the stationís current ability to generate power from 
sunlight and adding 17.5 tons to its mass.
+ Learn more about the truss 
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/behindscenes/truss_segment.html>
----
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