Space Shuttle Atlantis For Final Mission
By Mike Mitchell
July 9, 2011 - Boeing engineers and technicians
prepared Space Shuttle Atlantis and its payload for the
program's final mission, which is underway after
Friday’s launch from Kennedy Space Center. Weather
condition had been poor but Friday’s weather held out
for a late morning liftoff. Atlantis' may extended it
mission from 12 day to 13 days.
"Our teams are especially proud of the work Boeing has
done to help prepare the payload for Atlantis' final
journey," said Mike Kinslow, Mission STS-135 payload
flow manager for Boeing. "We've remained focused on a
safe, successful mission."
Boeing's Checkout, Assembly and Payload Processing
Services team prepared the payload, including the
Raffaello Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), which
is filled with supplies and spare parts designed to
sustain International Space Station (ISS) operations for
several years. In addition, a Lightweight Multi-Purpose
Carrier, included in the payload bay, will return a
failed ammonia pump for troubleshooting by Boeing.
preparing and processing the payload for launch, Boeing
technicians and engineers modified six resupply stowage
racks and the MPLM structure to carry additional cargo.
Boeing added an aft end cone stowage frame to the MPLM
to accommodate an additional 400 pounds of stowage.
also developed and stowed upgraded waste-treatment tanks called
the Advanced Recycle Filter Tank Assembly (ARFTA). The current
tanks had to regularly be returned to Earth on the space shuttle
for refurbishment. The new AFRTA tanks do not require
refurbishment and can be emptied by the crew.
32 missions, Atlantis deployed 14 satellites, docked with the
Mir space station seven times and docked with the ISS 11 times.
It was the fourth orbiter built as part of the shuttle program,
which became a Boeing program in 1996 when the company purchased
Rockwell International's aerospace and defense assets.
also provided design support and assisted NASA and United Space
Alliance, the space shuttle prime operations contractor, with
ensuring the space shuttle was safe to fly for this final
shuttle is an amazing vehicle that has helped Boeing to attract,
develop and retain an incredible workforce in Florida, Texas,
California and elsewhere. They are the foundation of success for
this remarkable program," said John Mulholland, Boeing vice
president and program manager of the Space Shuttle program.
"There are very few programs that have spanned the amount of
time that this one has, and it's amazing how many people have
stuck with it -- in some cases, for their entire careers."
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