Space shuttle Atlantis is suspended by crane over the transfer aisle in the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Next, Atlantis will be rotated to a vertical position, lifted over a transom and lowered onto a mobile launch platform in high bay 1.
It then will be attached to an external fuel tank and pair of solid rocket boosters already secured to the platform. Rollout of the completed shuttle stack to Kennedy’s Launch Pad 39A, a significant milestone in launch processing activities, is planned for Oct. 13. Liftoff of Atlantis on its STS-129 mission to the International Space Station is targeted for 4:04 p.m. EST Nov. 12 during a 10-minute launch window. For information on the STS-129 mission and crew, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts129/index.html.
Photo credit: NASA/Troy Cryder