Atlantis – 8 July 2011 First Launch Attempt

STS-135 July 8
STS-135 two hours before launch
Image Credit: KSC TV Feed

At 6:44 AM Phoenix time (1344 UTC) launch is about 2 hours away. At the moment we are ‘no go’ due to cloud density over the launch site. NASA-TV is here, and the Kennedy Space Center video feeds can be found here for weather and pad cameras.

Weather
Weather 90 Minutes Before Launch
Image Credit: KSC TV Feed

The countdown is at T-minus 20 minutes and holding, with a ten minute built in hold.

At 7:21 AM Phoenix (1321 UTC) the count has resumed and will go down to T-minus 9 minutes for the next built in hold.

Ops Commit
Ops Commit Criteria 60 minutes before launch.
Image Credit: KSC Video

Weather is now a ‘go’. The Ops Commit Criteria are all green.

The launch is now at T-minus 9 minutes, with a 41 minute built in hold. This will set up the launch, with the window opening at 15:22:13 UTC.

The launch is expected at 15:26 UTC. The countdown will resume at 15:17:46 UTC

Poling of the main systems is complete, and everything is go.

T-minus 4 minutes.

Steering check of the three main engines. Solid rockets are armed. The auxiliary power units have been started.

T-minus 2 minutes.

T-minus 60 seconds.

T-minus 31 seconds and a failure at the moment of hand-off to the internal computer.

Retraction of the event arm confirmed.

The count has resumed.

And launch.

Launch
Launch
Image Credit: NASA TV

Seven minutes into the flight, all systems are go.

At eight minutes we have main engine cutoff and external tank separation.

All three APU systems and all three fuel cells are operating normally.

Atlantis will now begin chasing the International Space Station, anticipating docking two days from now.

Atlantis – The Last Space Shuttle Flight


STS-135 on the pad July 4th
Image Credit: KSC TV Feed

Processing of the space shuttle Atlantis continues today, July 4th, in preparation for the July 8 launch.

Here are the launch windows for Atlantis (times are UTC):

  • 8 July – 1521-1531
  • 9 July – 1459-1509
  • 10 July – 1433-1443

After that is a five day period reserved for a Delta IV launch. The next launch window is 16 July beginning at 1211 UTC.

The primary objective of STS-135 is to deliver a Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) carrying 9,500 lbs of cargo, a Lightweight Multi-Purpose Equipment Support Structure Carrier (LMC), and a Station Power Distribution Unit (SPDU). The LMC will carry the Robotics Refueling Payload to the ISS and return the failed Pump Module (PM) from the ammonia cooling system. Additional ISS equipment and supplies will be carried up.

The current mission for Atlantis is to deliver as much stuff as possible to the Space Station before we come to rely on the Russian Soyuz M, European ATV, Japanese HTV, SpaceX Dragon and Orbital Sciences Cygnus resupply missions.

A long history of the Atlantis missions can be found at NASASpaceFlight:

A complete guide to NASA TV coverage can be found here.