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The Mission




Orbiter: Atlantis
Mission: STS-129
Payload: ISS ULF 3
Launch: Nov. 16, 2009
Time: 2:28 p.m. EST
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center
Landing: Nov. 27 @ 9:44 a.m.
Site: KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility

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Atlantis crew tests shuttle systems, preps for landing
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD
STORY WRITTEN FOR CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE" & USED WITH PERMISSION
Posted: November 26, 2009


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The Atlantis astronauts worked through a busy Thanksgiving in space Thursday, testing the shuttle's re-entry systems and packing up for landing Friday at the Kennedy Space Center to close out a successful space station delivery mission.

Atlantis' flight is the seventh shuttle mission to be in orbit over Thanksgiving, but commander Charles Hobaugh said the crew had nothing special planned for dinner. The astronauts originally expected to be back on the ground by Thanksgiving, but launch was delayed and the crew's menu features mostly standard fare.

"You know, Thanksgiving isn't all about what you eat," Hobaugh said Tuesday. "It's the people you spend it with and this has become my second family. Of course, I have my main family back home, but these guys, and now (returning space station astronaut) Nicole (Stott), have been incredible to work with and we're just going to have a great time."

But mission control commentator Brandi Dean said a few traditional Thanksgiving items were packed before launch, including "turkey, of course, as well as green beans, mushrooms, cornbread dressing and candied yams."

An image of a turkey replaced the space shuttle on the big tracking map in mission control and in the crew's flight plan, "meal" was replaced by "Thanksgiving feast."

"The season is whatever the season is, it could be Christmas, could be Thanksgiving, who knows?" Hobaugh joked before launch. "We're just always pleased to be in space and I don't care what they give us, it could be beef brisket, it could be tofu, it doesn't matter to me, we're going to enjoy ourselves no matter what we do."

Atlantis is scheduled to land at 9:44 a.m. Friday at the Kennedy Space Center. A second opportunity is available one orbit later at 11:19 a.m.

To prepare the ship for re-entry, Hobaugh, pilot Barry Wilmore and flight engineer Leland Melvin tested Atlantis' re-entry systems early Thursday, firing up a hydraulic power unit, exercising the spacecraft's elevons, body flap and rudder/speedbrake. After navigation and control system checks, the astronauts planned to test fire the steering jets that will be used during the initial stages of the descent.

Their crewmates - Robert Satcher, Michael Foreman, Randolph Bresnik and Stott - began packing up, stowing loose gear for the trip home. Later today, a reclining seat will be set up on the shuttle's lower deck to help ease Stott's return to gravity after 91 days in space.

Atlantis is bringing down about 2,100 pounds of no-longer needed space station hardware, experiment samples and other items, including a distillation assembly centrifuge from the lab's urine recycling system. The DA is the second such device to malfunction since the station's water processing system was activated late last year.

The DA and a Russian tank of urine are being returned aboard Atlantis for a detailed failure analysis. The original DA has been repaired and will be re-launched in February.

The astronauts will participate in a final round of media interviews at 9:13 a.m. A mission status briefing with entry Flight Director Bryan Lunney is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and the crew plans to go to bed at 5:28 p.m. Here is an updated timeline for the remainder of the mission (in EST and mission elapsed time; includes revision M of the NASA television schedule):


EST........DD...HH...MM...EVENT

11/26
01:28 AM...09...11...00...STS crew wakeup
04:31 AM...09...14...03...SEITE rocket firing
05:33 AM...09...15...05...Cabin stow begins
05:48 AM...09...15...20...FCS checkout
06:58 AM...09...16...30...RCS hotfire
07:13 AM...09...16...45...Deorbit review
07:43 AM...09...17...15...Crew meal
09:09 AM...09...18...41...SIMPLEX rocket firing
09:13 AM...09...18...45...PAO event
09:33 AM...09...19...05...Cabin stow resumes
09:38 AM...09...19...10...PILOT operations
09:38 AM...09...19...10...Wing leading edge sensor deact
10:38 AM...09...20...10...L-1 comm check
11:30 AM...09...21...02...Mission status briefing on NTV
12:28 PM...09...22...00...Ergometer stow
12:58 PM...09...22...30...Recumbent seat setup
01:28 PM...09...23...00...Launch-and-entry suit checkout
02:28 PM...10...00...00...KU antenna stow
02:38 PM...10...10...00...PGSC laptop computer stow (part 1)
05:28 PM...10...03...00...Crew sleep begins
06:00 PM...10...03...32...Daily highlights on NTV

11/27
01:28 AM...10...11...00...Crew wakeup
03:53 AM...10...13...25...Group B computer powerup
04:08 AM...10...13...40...Inertial measurement unit alignment
04:43 AM...10...14...15...Deorbit timeline begins

EST...........DD...HH...MM...SS...EVENT

08:37:50 AM...10...18...09...40...Deorbit ignition (rev. 171)
09:44:18 AM...10...19...16...08...Landing at KSC
10:13:50 AM...10...19...45...40...Deorbit ignition (rev. 172)
11:19:29 AM...10...20...51...19...Landing at KSC

Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: PRE-LANDING MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: CREW INTERVIEWED BY ABC, LOS ANGELES AND TAMPA TV PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 10 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: UPDATE FROM MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: INSPECTION BOOM UNBERTHED FOR HEAT SHIELD CHECKS PLAY
VIDEO: VIEWS OF ATLANTIS DURING FLYAROUND MANEUVER PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE ATLANTIS UNDOCKS FROM SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF ACTIVITIES ON FLIGHT DAY 10 PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 9 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTIS ASTRONAUTS BID FAREWELL TO STATION CREW PLAY
VIDEO: SPACE STATION EXPEDITION CHANGE OF COMMAND PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE AND STATION CREW JOINT CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF ACTIVITIES ON FLIGHT DAY 9 PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY MORNING'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 8 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ENDING OF MISSION'S THIRD AND FINAL SPACEWALK PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS INSTALL OXYGEN TANK ONTO AIRLOCK PLAY
VIDEO: HIGH-PRESSURE OXYGEN TANK REMOVED FROM PALLET PLAY
VIDEO: GATHERING SCIENCE CASES FROM SHUTTLE BAY PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF ACTIVITIES ON FLIGHT DAY 8 PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY MORNING'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING UPWARD PLAY
VIDEO: LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING INBOARD PLAY
VIDEO: LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING DOWNWARD PLAY
VIDEO: RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING UPWARD PLAY
VIDEO: RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING INBOARD PLAY
VIDEO: RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING DOWNWARD PLAY
VIDEO: EXTERNAL TANK CAMERA FROM LIFTOFF TO SEPARATION PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 7 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH RANDY AND REBECCA PLAY
VIDEO: BIRTH OF BABY BRESNIK ANNOUNCED FROM ORBIT PLAY
VIDEO: EDUCATIONAL EVENT WITH TENNESSEE TECH UNIVERSITY PLAY
VIDEO: WASHINGTON, TAMPA AND CHICAGO MEDIA INTERVIEWS PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY MORNING'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS INSTALL WIRELESS VIDEO ANTENNA PLAY
VIDEO: MEASUREMENT PROBE RELOCATED ON STATION TRUSSES PLAY
VIDEO: EXPERIMENTAL COMMUNICATION PACKAGE INSTALLED PLAY
VIDEO: SECOND SPARE PARTS PALLET MOVED TO STATION PLAY
VIDEO: STEP-BY-STEP SUMMARY OF SPACEWALK NO. 2 PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF ACTIVITIES ON FLIGHT DAY 6 PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY MORNING'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 5 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ESPN, BET AND RICHMOND TV INTERVIEWS PLAY
VIDEO: MELVIN AND SATCHER ON MORNING RADIO SHOW PLAY
VIDEO: CBS, NASHVILLE TV AND FOX RADIO INTERVIEWS PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SPAEWALKERS HAMMER STUCK BRACE ON TRUSS PLAY
VIDEO: MAINTENANCE WORK ON JAPANESE ROBOT ARM PLAY
VIDEO: ENJOYING THE VIEW OF SHUTTLE AND STATION PLAY
VIDEO: REFURBISHED S-BAND ANTENNA INSTALLED PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS MOVE ANTENNA FROM SHUTTLE PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALK NO. 1 GETS UNDERWAY PLAY
VIDEO: STEP-BY-STEP SUMMARY OF SPACEWALK NO. 1 PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF ACTIVITIES ON FLIGHT DAY 4 PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY MORNING'S FLIGHT DIRECTOR INTERVIEW PLAY

VIDEO: AERIAL LAUNCH AND SRB SPLASHDOWN FOOTAGE PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON'S MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: SPARE PARTS CARRIER INSTALLED ONTO STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE ARM HANDS PALLET TO STATION'S ARM PLAY
VIDEO: LOGISTICS CARRIER 1 UNBERTHED FROM SHUTTLE PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE CREW FLOATS INTO STATION PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTIS DOCKS TO THE SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SPACE SHUTTLE PERFORMS 360-DEGREE BACKFLIP PLAY
VIDEO: BEAUTIFUL VIEWS OF ATLANTIS APPROACHING PLAY
VIDEO: SUMMARY OF THE SPARE PARTS PALLETS PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF PALLET NO. 1 DELIVERY ON FLIGHT DAY 3 PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED PREVIEW OF RENDEZVOUS AND DOCKING PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 2 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY AFTERNOON'S MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: ROBOT ARM GRAPPLES LOGISTICS CARRIER 1 PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY AFTERNOON'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW OF ACTIVITIES ON FLIGHT DAY 2 PLAY
VIDEO: NARRATED TOUR OF THE PAYLOAD BAY PLAY

VIDEO: THE FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS MOVIE PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: INSIDE MISSION CONTROL ROOM PLAY
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAYS: EXTERNAL TANK CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: POST-LAUNCH PRESS CONFERENCE PLAY

VIDEO: CREW FINISHES GETTING SUITED UP PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS LEAVE CREW QUARTERS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LIFTOFF OF SPACE SHUTTLE ATLANTIS! PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: BEACH TRACKER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD CAEMRA 070 PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD CAEMRA 071 PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: WEST TOWER SITE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 TRACKER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PLAYALINDA BEACH PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD FRONT CAMERA PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: VAB ROOF PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: NARRATED REVIEW OF SHUTTLE'S PREPARATIONS HI-DEF
VIDEO: NARRATED REVIEW OF PAYLOADS' PREPARATIONS HI-DEF

VIDEO: STUNNING SUNSET ROLLBACK OF PAD GANTRY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: A LOOK AT SPACE STATION SCIENCE RESEARCH PLAY
VIDEO: THE STS-129 PRE-LAUNCH PRESS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: COUNTDOWN PREVIEW AND WEATHER BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE FOR LAUNCH PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: NARRATED MISSION OVERVIEW MOVIE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: MEET SHUTTLE ATLANTIS' ASTRONAUTS PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS TOUR PAD'S CLEANROOM PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: SHUTTLE EVACUATION PRACTICE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CREW BOARDS SHUTTLE FOR TEST PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: THE LAUNCH DAY SIMULATION BEGINS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CREW ARRIVES FOR PRACTICE COUNTDOWN PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: PAYLOADS DELIVERED TO PAD 39A PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: PLACING PAYLOADS INTO TRANSPORTER PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: FLIGHT READINESS REVIEW SETS LAUNCH DATE PLAY

VIDEO: CREW BRIEFED ON EMERGENCY PROCEDURES PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: TEST-DRIVING EMERGENCY ARMORED TANK PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: CREW ARRIVES AT CAPE FOR TRAINING PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: SHUTTLE AND STATION PROGRAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: THE STS-129 MISSION OVERVIEW BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW BRIEFING ON MISSION'S SPACEWALKS PLAY
VIDEO: THE ASTRONAUTS' PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING PLAY

VIDEO: SPACE SHUTTLE ROLLOUT IN FAST-FORWARD PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ATLANTIS TAKES PERCH ATOP PAD 39A PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ROLLOUT FROM ASSEMBLY BUILDING BEGINS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: SPACE SHUTTLE ASSEMBLY IN FAST-FORWARD PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF ATLANTIS ATTACHED TO FUEL TANK PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTIS LEAVES HANGAR FOR NEXT LAUNCH PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF ATLANTIS ARRIVING IN VAB PLAY
VIDEO: CLOSING ATLANTIS' PAYLOAD BAY DOORS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: FUEL TANK ATTACHED TO SOLID ROCKETS PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS MAKE A VISIT TO THE CAPE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ORBITER DOCKING SYSTEM CHECKED OUT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ATLANTIS' FUEL TANK UNLOADED FROM BARGE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: EXTERNAL TANK ARRIVES AT THE LAUNCH SITE PLAY | HI-DEF
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