Atlantis – STS-132 – Final Flight

STS-132
Atlantis at T-Minus 30 Minutes
Image Credit: NASA TV

This will be the 32nd and final flight of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, which has spent 282 days in space. Notable accomplishments are:

  • Launched the Magellan space probe to Venus (on STS-30) in 1989
  • Launched the Galileo probe to Jupiter (on STS-34), also in 1989
  • Atlantis deployed the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. (on STS-37) in 1991
  • Beginning in 1995 with STS-71, Atlantis made seven straight flights to the former Russian space station Mir
T-Minus 20 Minutes
Atlantis at T-Minus 20 Minutes
Image Credit: NASA TV
Close Out
Close Out Operations
Image Credit: NASA TV

.

The Countdown is proceeding normally toward a built in hold at T-Minus 5 minutes. This will last for 40 minutes.

Launch is scheduled for 11:19 AM Phoenix time (2:19 EST).

And the Launch was right on time.

Ignition
Atlantis at Ignition
Image Credit: NASA TV

Ignition occurred on schedule, and this image demonstrates the sequential firing of the three main engines. The internal engine is just beginning its burn, while the two external engines are nearly up to full thrust.

Liftoff was clean in the bright blue sky of Florida. Later, the launch press conference would report that Atlantis would be ready for a LON (rescue) mission (Launch On Need) for one of the remaining Shuttle missions. Mike Leinbach stated that the LON for Atlantis could be turned into a real mission if given direction to do so by June of this year. This decision would need to be June of this year, so there is not much time. The purpose would be to carry another MPLM (Multi-Purpose-Logistics-Module) to the International Space Station (ISS)>

The two solid rocket motors separated cleanly following launch.

The press conference dealt extensively with Russian interest in keeping the ISS operational through 2028. Russia is considering a new vehicle capable of beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) missions.

Liftoff
Liftoff
Image Credit: NASA TV
Booster
Booster Separation
Image Credit: NASA TV

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It is now 11:30 PM Phoenix time (2:30 AM EST) and Atlantis is chasing the ISS for rendezvous and docking.

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One thought on “Atlantis – STS-132 – Final Flight

  1. Pingback: May 2010 « NSS Phoenix Space News

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