Launch of space shuttle Atlantis on its STS-132 mission to the International Space Station officially is set for May 14 at 2:20 p.m. EDT. At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians working at Launch Pad 39A will replenish the liquid hydrogen storage tank and perform recharge operations for the gaseous oxygen.
Commander Ken Ham will lead the six-member astronaut crew during the 12-day flight. With their launch date finally official, the astronauts are enjoying a day off from their training.
Top NASA managers made the launch date official at the end of Wednesday’s Flight Readiness Review at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
“We had a very thorough review. We went through all the things that happened on the vehicle, both the shuttle and also the station,” said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations. “The vehicle is ready to go fly. It’s a true testament to the work the teams have done down here at [Kennedy].”
Atlantis and crew will deliver an Integrated Cargo Carrier and a Russian-built Mini Research Module. The countdown will begin May 11 at 4 p.m. when countdown clocks at the oceanside launch complex begin ticking backward from the T-43 hour mark.