NASA sets space shuttle Atlantis launch date
Posted: September 17, 2002

At the conclusion of the Flight Readiness Review held today at Kennedy Space Center, NASA mission managers set Oct. 2 for the launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis to the International Space Station (ISS). Mission STS-112 will continue the expansion of the vast orbiting outpost including additions to the first space railroad.

Atlantis will launch between 2 and 6 p.m. EDT. The precise launch time will be announced about 24 hours before liftoff.

Atlantis is carrying the first starboard integrated truss segment, S-One (S1), to the ISS as well as what will be the first pickup truck in space. The 45-foot truss structure adds to the length of the space railroad and provides the necessary cooling and power systems for future international expansion of the space laboratory. Attached to the truss, the Crew and Equipment Translation Aid (CETA) Cart A is the first of two human-powered carts that will ride along the railway, providing mobile work platforms for future spacewalking astronauts.

"Engineering and ground processing teams have done outstanding work in the past few months to ensure the readiness of Atlantis for a safe flight," NASA Space Shuttle Program Manager Ron Dittemore said. "Because of the dedication and hard work of these teams, we have resolved the technical issues and are ready to resume the task of assembling the International Space Station. Atlantis is in great shape and ready to fly."

Jeff Ashby (Capt., USN) will command Atlantis, and Pam Melroy (Col., USAF) will serve as pilot. Mission specialists will be David Wolf (M.D.), Sandra Magnus (Ph.D.), Piers Sellers (Ph.D.) and Russian Space Agency Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin (Ph.D.). This will be Magnus', Sellers' and Yurchikhin's first shuttle mission, Ashby's third and Melroy's second. This will be Wolf's third mission, his most recent being a 119-day stay aboard the Russian Space Station Mir in 1997 and 1998. Wolf and Sellers will conduct three spacewalks during STS-112 to install and outfit the new truss structure and spacewalk work platform.

Atlantis is scheduled to land at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., Oct. 13. STS-112 marks the 26th flight for Atlantis and the 111th in Shuttle history.

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