Shuttle Atlantis arrives at space station alpha
BY SPACEFLIGHT NOW
Posted: July 14, 2001
The shuttle docked to Alpha at 11:08 p.m. EDT, some 15 minutes later than planned as Atlantis skipper Steve Lindsey took took some extra time to ensure a smoothly link up between the winged-spaceship and the sprawling orbital outpost. Cameras on the robot arm provided spectacular views of the approaching orbiter.
"Atlantis, Alpha, you all are looking beautiful down there. Be sure and smile," radioed station astronaut Jim Voss as the shuttle inched ever closer.
The united eight-astronaut team then went to work preparing for Saturday night's installation of the Joint Airlock "Quest" and spacewalk by Gernhardt and Reilly.
"We want to actually get the two crews together who haven't actually been in the same room for several months now and let them talk about the next day's activities, to make sure they're all on the same page with the choreography of using both arms in the spacewalk and make sure they just generally have a good level of confidence and they're all ready to go the next day," said shuttle flight director Paul Hill.
"Since we have two robotic arms moving at the same time -- this'll be the first time we have two robotic arms moving at the same time -- clearances are critical, the coordination of who's moving where when, to avoid conflict being in the same space at the same time everything is critical as to how it's done, when it's done, and the communication between myself and the operator on the space station, Susan Helms, is perfect, so that everything will go smoothly," Kavandi said in a pre-flight interview.
Added Lindsey: "There's a tremendous amount of coordination between the crews, and by doing this dry run it enables us to essentially practice and do one last training session the day before the spacewalk."
Looking ahead to the key events later today:
The airlock will allow spacewalks to be performed from the station without disrupting life aboard the orbiting complex. The only station-based spacewalk to date turned a compartment of Russian Zvezda module into a make-shift airlock, requiring substantial work for the astronauts before and after the excursion.
Quest also will permit spacewalkers to use either U.S. or Russian spacesuits -- the hatches on Russian modules are too small for an American suit to fit through.
Recent additions to our Mission Theater service (subscribers only):
The space shuttle Atlantis docks with the International Space Station as seen live on NASA Television.
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The hatches between space shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station open and the shuttle crew board the station.
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A massive shock wave erupts at the moment space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39B.
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Pat Ryan provides an overview of the major events planned during space shuttle Atlantis' visit to the International Space Station.
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In addition to the giant shock wave at ignition there were multiple pulsing waves seen as Atlantis climbed away from the launch pad.
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Perched atop pad 39B's water tower, Camera 160 provides another great view of the shock wave during the launch of Atlantis.
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