22 September 2008

Space shuttle x2

Space shuttle Atlantis on Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center, with shuttle Endeavour on Launch Pad 39B in the background.

ZUI this press release from NASA:
For the first time since July 2001, two shuttles are on the launch pads at the same time at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Space shuttle Endeavour completed a 4.2-mile journey to Launch Pad 39B on Friday, Sept. 19, at 6:59 a.m. EDT.


Endeavour will stand by at pad B in the unlikely event that a rescue mission is necessary during space shuttle Atlantis' upcoming mission to repair NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, targeted to launch Oct. 10. After Endeavour is cleared from its duty as a rescue spacecraft, it will be moved to Launch Pad 39A for the STS-126 mission to the International Space Station. That flight is targeted for launch Nov. 12.

Atlantis will be launched for mission STS-125, with a crew consisting of commander Scott Altman, pilot Gregory C Johnson, and mission specialists Andrew Feustel, Michael Good, John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino and Megan McArthur. Endeavour's crew for mission STS-126 will consist of commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Eric Boe, and mission specialists Steve Bowen, Shane Kimbrough, Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper, and Donald Pettit; the shuttle will also ferry Sandra Magnus up to replace Greg Chamitoff as an Expedition 18 crew member, and bring Chamitoff back down.

The July 2001 event mentioned in the press release was in conjunction with the launch of Atlantis on mission STS-104. Shuttle Discovery, for mission STS-105, was rolled out to the pad on 2 July; Atlantis was launched on 12 July.

This is probably the last time there will be two shuttles on the launch pads at the same time, due to the pending decommissioning of the shuttles.

Again, Atlantis in the foreground on Pad 39A and Endeavour in the background on Pad 39B.

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