Atlantis departs hangar ahead of August 28 launch

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Space Shuttle Atlantis

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About Atlantis

Space Shuttle Orbiter Atlantis is one of the fleet of space shuttles belonging to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It was the fourth operational shuttle built. Following the destruction of Columbia, it is one of the three fully operational shuttles remaining in the fleet. The other two are Discovery and Endeavour. After it completes STS-125, the final Hubble Space Telescope service mission, Atlantis is scheduled to be the first shuttle retired from the fleet.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

The Space Shuttle Atlantis has entered final preparation for mission STS-115, and has begun movement from its hangar at the OPF, to the VAB, where it will be attached to its external tank and solid rocket boosters. The first motion occurred at 11:34 GMT (07:34 EDT)

This will be the third mission since the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia on mission STS-107, and the first ISS assembly mission in four years. It will also be the first time Atlantis has flown since 2002.

The move, which is currently in progress, is expected to take about an hour. Rollout to the pad is scheduled for August 1st, ahead of an August 28th launch date. It is possible that these may be brought forward for an August 27th launch, which would make it the first time in NASA history a manned spaceflight has occurred earlier than originally scheduled.

The flight will deliver a truss and solar panels to the space station.