October 2008
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STS-125: Atlantis To Roll Back Monday

With Atlantis' launch delayed due to recent trouble on the Hubble Space Telescope, the Shuttle will be rolled back to the VAB until the expanded flight lifts off next year.  NASA reports:

Atlantis Getting Ready to Roll

Oct. 17, 2008
Space shuttle Atlantis will begin its slow move back to the Vehicle Assembly Building about 7 a.m. Monday, clearing the way for Endeavour to move to Launch Pad 39A on Oct. 25.

Workers will spend the weekend making final preparations on Atlantis for its rollback. Atlantis was placed on Launch Pad 39A in August for a mission to service and upgrade NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. That mission was postponed when Hubble developed a problem in space with its scientific data transmission system.

The STS-125 payload is transferred.
Image above: The payload canister carrying the equipment for the postponed STS-125 mission is taken past the Vehicle Assembly Building on its way back to its processing bay. The payload was removed from space shuttle Atlantis before the shuttle is taken back to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Image credit: NASA/Jim Grossman
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Atlantis will be kept in its launch configuration inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida while NASA managers prepare to fly the Hubble mission next year.

In the meantime, Endeavour, which was stationed on Launch Pad 39B, is going to launch from Launch Pad 39A so modification work can resume on the 39B complex to host the Ares I-X test flight in 2009.

Endeavour is being prepared to fly mission STS-126 to the International Space Station. The shuttle will take equipment to the orbiting laboratory so it can double its resident crew size from three to six.

The astronauts who will fly Endeavour to the station ended their work week by practicing rendezvous maneuvers and reviewing the spacewalks planned for the mission at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Launch of STS-126 is targeted for Nov. 14 at 7:55 p.m. EST.

Preflight pics are up at the JSC Gallery. More preflight pics and video at KSC. Discussion here. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.