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Atlantis Set for Launch Today, Tanking Begins



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

*Atlantis Set for Launch Today, Tanking Begins *

/ Sept. 9, 5:10 a.m. EDT (0910 UTC)/
At Launch Pad 39B, the loading of Space Shuttle Atlantis' orange 
external tank with about 528,000 gallons of liquid oxygen and hydrogen 
began on time at 1:15 a.m. EDT today. The "topping off" of propellants 
into the tank will continue until liftoff. All systems onboard the space 
shuttle, including the four engine cut-off (ECO) sensors, are 
functioning normally and are ready for launch at 11:15 a.m. EDT.(1515 UTC)

Throughout the morning, the STS-115 astronauts will prepare for launch 
in the Operations and Checkout Building's crew quarters before taking 
the 20-minute ride to the launch pad later this morning aboard the 
Astrovan.

Yesterday the launch was postponed when launch controllers detected a 
problem with one of the ECO sensors inside the liquid hydrogen section 
of the space shuttle's orange external tank. The sensor system is one of 
several that protect the shuttle's main engines by triggering their shut 
down if fuel runs unexpectedly low.
+ See ECO Sensor Description 
<http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/157006main_122488main_ECO_sensors.jpg>

The Mission Management Team decided to wait another 24 hours before 
launching to give the engineers more time to study the sensor data.

Follow our live coverage today!
+ NASA's Launch Blog 
<http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/launch/sts-115/launch-vlcc.html>
+ NASA TV <http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/index.html>

*Atlantis' Crew and Mission *
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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