Bookmark and Share

Orbiter: Atlantis
Mission: STS-135
Payload: Raffaello
Launch: July 8, 2011
Time: 11:29 a.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center
Landing: July 21 @ approx. 5:57 a.m. EDT
Site: KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility
NASA TV (rev. 0)

Launch Windows

Countdown Timeline

Master Flight Plan

SRB Case History

Mission Video Vault

High Definition Video

STS-135 Stories

Shuttle Archive

Cdr Chris Ferguson

Pilot Doug Hurley

MS 1 Sandy Magnus

MS 2 Rex Walheim

Mission Status Center

By Justin Ray

Live coverage of space shuttle Atlantis' STS-135 mission to the International Space Station. Text updates will appear automatically; there is no need to reload the page. Follow us on Twitter.

MONDAY, JULY 11, 2011
Read our full story that wraps up today's activities in space.
1948 GMT (3:48 p.m. EDT)
MISSION EXTENDED. Taking advantage of available consumables in the space shuttle's electricity-generating fuel cells, NASA today formally extended Atlantis' flight by an extra day. The bonus day will be inserted into the mission schedule and spent working at the International Space Station.

"I'm sure we'll fill it up in a very useful fashion for the station folks," commander Chris Ferguson replied to Mission Control.

Landing back at the Kennedy Space Center is rescheduled for July 21 at approximately 5:56 a.m. EDT (0956 GMT), which is a half-hour before sunrise. A backup landing opportunity would be possible an orbit later around 7:30 a.m. EDT, about an hour after sunrise.

Atlantis will have enough supplies to remain aloft two further days if weather or technical problems delay re-entry.
1611 GMT (12:11 p.m. EDT)
HATCH OPENING. The Raffaello module's hatch just swung open, allowing the astronauts to float inside the cargo-laden vessel at 12:10 p.m. EDT.
1552 GMT (11:52 a.m. EDT)
Work to ready the Raffaello module for ingress has gone smoothly today. Mission Control says the astronauts are running nearly two hours ahead of their timeline. Hatch opening is expected shortly.
1220 GMT (8:20 a.m. EDT)
We've posted some more Atlantis launch photos on our Facebook page!
1200 GMT (8:00 a.m. EDT)
It is going to take a few hours for the astronauts to outfit the small passageway between Harmony and Raffaello, plus conduct all the various leak and pressure checks. Opening of the cargo module's hatch will occur later today to begin the unloading chores.
1103 GMT (7:03 a.m. EDT)
The station's robot arm has released its grip on Raffaello and backed away.
1048 GMT (6:48 a.m. EDT)
The reusable hauler of supplies for the International Space Station was successfully hoisted from shuttle Atlantis' payload bay and connected to the outpost today.

Known by its nickname Raffaello, or more formally as the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, this cylindrical structure is packed with 9,403 pounds of cargo, including spare parts, science gear and 2,677 pounds food to stock the station's shelves.

"We're taking a year's worth of food," says mission specialist Sandy Magnus. "We're taking about 2,000 pounds of science equipment, we're taking hygiene items, we're taking clothing, we're taking thousands of pounds of spare parts for the different systems, life support system, the electrical system, the computer system and so forth. These are the big things that we're taking because we're trying to supply the station for a whole year, and that hedges our bets against when the commercial follow-on cargo contracts will be available up and running."

Once the space shuttles are retired after this final mission, NASA will rely upon the commercial firms SpaceX and Orbital Sciences to fly resupply missions with the new capsules and rockets being developed. Russian, European and Japanese unmanned cargo vehicles will continue flying to the station as well.

After Raffaello is emptied, about 5,660 pounds of no-longer-needed materials and items looking for a ride back to Earth will be stowed into the module before it is detached and returned to the shuttle payload bay next week.
1046 GMT (6:46 a.m. EDT)
Final capture is confirmed. Raffaello has parked at the International Space Station's doorway for unloading.
1033 GMT (6:33 a.m. EDT)
The first stage capture has occurred. The arm will be limped for the next stage of bolt turning.
1030 GMT (6:30 a.m. EDT)
The station arm will hold Raffaello while electrically-driven bolts tighten to firmly connect the cargo module to the space station.
1027 GMT (6:27 a.m. EDT)
With Raffaello seated into the docking port, four ready-to-latch indications have triggered. Initial capturing of the module in the berthing mechanism is beginning.
1024 GMT (6:24 a.m. EDT)
This is Raffaello's fourth trip to the International Space Station since 2001. Fellow module Leonardo made seven roundtrips and then took a oneway voyage earlier this year to become a permanent part of the complex.
1017 GMT (6:17 a.m. EDT)
The "go" was just give to push onward to the ready-to-latch position.
1008 GMT (6:08 a.m. EDT)
Unlike previous Multi-Purpose Logistics Module missions that delivered large compartments and devices to outfit the space station laboratories, this flight is bringing only bags and supply containers. Raffaello is carrying eight resupply stowage platforms, two intermediate stowage platforms, six resupply stowage racks and one zero stowage rack.
1003 GMT (6:03 a.m. EDT)
Atlantis astronauts Sandy Magnus and Doug Hurley are controlling the space station's robot arm from the workstation inside the Cupola. They've now begun maneuvering Raffaello toward its installation point.
1000 GMT (6:00 a.m. EDT)
Known by its nickname Raffaello, or more formally as the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, this cylindrical structure is packed with about one-third food, one-third science gear and one-third provisions for the station. The module is 21 feet long, 15 feet wide and weighed 25,500 pounds at launch.
0952 GMT (5:52 a.m. EDT)
The Canadian-built arm has hoisted the Italian module cleanly out of the shuttle's payload bay for today's mounting to the nadir port of the station's Harmony connecting node.
0947 GMT (5:47 a.m. EDT)
Raffaello is in motion! The module is slowly rising out of its moorings in the space shuttle payload bay, headed for attachment onto the International Space Station.
0941 GMT (5:41 a.m. EDT)
The payload retention latch assemblies (PRLAs) holding Raffaello in the space shuttle have been released, freeing the module to leave Atlantis a short time from now.
0935 GMT (5:35 a.m. EDT)
The remotely controlled power umbilical between the shuttle and the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module has been disengaged. This electrically unplugs the module from Atlantis.
0916 GMT (5:16 a.m. EDT)
The robot arm has a firm grip on the cargo module.
0907 GMT (5:07 a.m. EDT)
The International Space Station's robotic arm is moving inward to grapple the Raffaello module for its unberthing from the space shuttle Atlantis' payload bay.
0825 GMT (4:25 a.m. EDT)
The latest version of the NASA Television schedule (Rev. D) can be downloaded here.
0702 GMT (3:02 a.m. EDT)
Mission Control just awakened the astronauts to start Flight Day 4 of the final space shuttle voyage.

The Raffaello cargo module packed full of supplies, spare parts and science equipment will be grappled by the space station's robot arm a little after 5 a.m. EDT, then removed from the shuttle's payload bay and installed on the space station. The crews plan to open the hatch and enter the module later in the day.

Read our earlier status center coverage.

Coverage sponsored by

BoeingLockheed Martin
Space models