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STS-130: First Launch Attempt SCRUBBED

Low clouds at KSC forced mission managers to postpone this morning's Shuttle launch, the first one of the year (and one of the last five missions of the program). The announcement came at 4:30AM EST, just nine minutes before liftoff time. After some deliberation about whether to delay for 24 or 48 hours, the 24-hour option was chosen. NASA reports:

New Launch Date Set

STS-130 crew
Image: The six STS-130 astronauts enjoy a meal together in the crew quarters at Kennedy's Operations and Checkout Building before suiting up for launch. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
› High-res image

Managers officially have scheduled space shuttle Endeavour's next launch attempt for Monday, Feb. 8 at 4:14 a.m. EST.

The Mission Management Team will meet at 6:15 p.m. Sunday to give the "go" to fill Endeavour's external fuel tank with propellants. Tank loading would begin at 6:45 p.m.

Looks like Superbowl Sunday will be spent prepping for tomorrow morning's launch. Did you know that today's coin toss will use a flip coin that was flown on STS-129? That mission counted former NFLer Lee Melvin among its crew.

Live HD coverage at SpaceVidCast. Live video at SFN and Florida Today. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. Preflight pics are up at JSC and Sentinel. Launch blog at NASA. Pics and video at KSC. More clips at Space Multimedia. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-129: TOUCHDOWN!

"That was a picture-perfect end to a top-fuel mission to the Space Station. Everybody, welcome back to Earth, especially you, Nicole..."

Shuttle Commander Charlie Hobaugh (with help from Pilot Butch Wilmore) eased Atlantis through crystal-clear Florida skies, to a smooth landing at KSC's Runway 33 to end STS-129.

Atlantis Lands Safely in Florida

S129-E-009886 -- Randy Bresnik (left) and Barry E. Wilmore
Image above: Mission Specialist Randy Bresnik (left) and Pilot Barry E. Wilmore are pictured on the flight deck of space shuttle Atlantis. Photo credit: NASA

Touchdown was right on time at 9:44AM EDT. Unofficial distance traveled is 4,490,138 miles (7,226,177 km).

STS-129: Deorbit Burn!

Shuttle Atlantis, with seven astronauts aboard, is on her way home! The retrofire, or "de-orbit burn", started at 8:37AM EST, and was complete at 8:40AM. NASA reports:

Atlantis, Crew Head Home

The Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center
Image above: Space shuttle Atlantis is set to land on the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA TV
› High-res image

› STS-129 Landing Ground Tracks

The STS-129 crew members are in the final prep stages for their journey back to Earth after their demanding mission at the International Space Station.

Commander Charles O. Hobaugh, Pilot Barry E. Wilmore, Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Mike Foreman, Randy Bresnik, Robert Satcher Jr. and Nicole Stott will return aboard space shuttle Atlantis.

Stott completed her stint as Flight Engineer and this is the last time a station crew member will travel to or from the orbiting outpost aboard a space shuttle.

Live HD coverage at SpaceVidCast. Live video at SFN and Florida Today. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. More clips at Space Multimedia. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-129: Landing Day

Atlantis is scheduled to wrap up her mission to the ISS today. Weather is looking good for landing at Kennedy Space Center. NASA reports:

Crew Begins Landing Day

27orbit171
The crew of space shuttle Atlantis has begun what is scheduled to be the STS-129 mission’s landing day.

Atlantis will be bringing home Mission Specialist and former Expedition 20 and 21 Flight Engineer Nicole Stott, who spent 87 days on the International Space Station. Her return brings to an end nearly a decade of space shuttle use to rotate crew on the station.

With the weather in Florida looking perfect for a landing, Atlantis’ first opportunity is at Kennedy Space Center on orbit 171. It would see a deorbit burn at 8:37 a.m. EST. Landing would be at 9:44 a.m.

Atlantis is winding up a mission that included three spacewalks and more than six days at the International Space Station. The orbiter took 14 tons of cargo in its payload bay, including two large carriers with spare parts to sustain station operations after the shuttles are retired next year, to the orbiting laboratory.

Live HD coverage at SpaceVidCast. Live video at SFN and Florida Today. Flight Day 11 videos are up at JSC. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. Landing ground tracks at NASA. Landing blog at NASA. Pics and video at KSC. More clips at Space Multimedia. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

Happy Thanksgiving!

With Atlantis undocked from the ISS, we have two separate crews celebrating Thanksgiving on-orbit. Mmmmmm... space turkey.... 

Check NASA's Thanksgiving message from the ISS and from the Shuttle.

The STS-129 astronauts, now numbering seven, will return home Friday morning. NASA reports:

Crew Packing and Performing Landing Checks

The STS-129 Crew Image above: The STS-129 crew members show some of their Thanksgiving food items during an in-flight media interview: Photo credit: NASA TV

› Meet the STS-129 Crew

The seven-member crew of Atlantis are packing the orbiter and preparing to return home, wrapping up the 31st shuttle flight to the International Space Station. Atlantis is scheduled to land at 9:44 a.m. EST Friday at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Commander Charlie Hobaugh and Pilot Barry Wilmore, with help from Mission Specialist Randy Bresnik, will check out Atlantis' flight control surfaces, including the rudder and the wing flaps. Those surfaces will guide Atlantis’ unpowered flight through the atmosphere to a landing. The astronauts also will test fire reaction control system thrusters. The thrusters will control the shuttle’s orientation as it descends and begins its re-entry through the atmosphere.

A recumbent seat for Mission Specialist Nicole Stott will be setup on the shuttle's mid-deck. Stott is returning after 90 days in space, 80 as a station crewmember.

Tuesday at 10 a.m., European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne handed over command of the station to NASA astronaut Jeff Williams. De Winne and Expedition 21 Flight Engineers Roman Romanenko and Robert Thirsk are scheduled to leave the station for return to Earth in a Soyuz capsule on Nov. 30.

› View video of change of command ceremony

On Sunday, Bresnik told the flight controllers his new daughter, Abigail Mae Bresnik, had been born in Houston at 11:04 p.m. CST Saturday. He said his wife Rebecca and new daughter, 6 pounds, 13 ounces and 20 inches long, were doing well. Bresnik got the news by private phone patch through mission control shortly after the crew was awakened.

› Listen to Bresnik's comments
› View video of announcement
› Read the Pre-flight Interview with Randy and Rebecca Bresnik

STS-129 Additional Resources
› STS-129 Landing Ground Tracks
› STS-129 Mission Overview
› STS-129 Press Kit (15.5 Mb PDF)
› Mission Summary (518 kb PDF)
› More about STS-129 Crew
› Remaining Shuttle Missions (730Kb)

Live HD coverage at SpaceVidCast. Live video at SFN and Florida Today. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. More clips at Space Multimedia. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-129: LIFTOFF!

".. and LIFTOFF of Space Shuttle Atlantis, on a mission to build, resupply, and to do research on the International Space Station!"

"Atlantis begins its penultimate journey to shore up the International Space Station... Four-and-a-half million pounds of hardware and humans taking aim on the international outpost..."

Atlantis roared into orbit on her first launch attempt! No technical or weather issues today, as the Shuttle begins an 11-day trip to the ISS . NASA reports:

Flawless Launch for Atlantis

Launch of space shuttle Atlantis Image above: Space shuttle Atlantis with it crew of six astronauts lifts off from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: NASA/TV

› Meet the STS-129 Crew

The STS-129 mission is commanded by Charles O. Hobaugh and piloted by Barry E. Wilmore. Mission Specialists are Robert L. Satcher Jr., Mike Foreman, Randy Bresnik and Leland Melvin. Wilmore, Satcher and Bresnik are making their first trip to space.

Launch video on YouTube. Live HD coverage at SpaceVidCast. Live video at SFN and Florida Today. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. Preflight pics are up at JSC and Sentinel. Launch blog at NASA. Pics and video at KSC. More clips at Space Multimedia. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.

STS-129: Astronauts On Board Atlantis

Atlantis is fueled up and the crew is strapped in on a mission to deliver spare parts and return a crewmember from the ISSNASA reports:

Launch Day for Atlantis

Commander Charles O. Hobaugh is secured into his seat aboard Atlantis Image above: STS-129 Commander Charles O. Hobaugh is secured into his seat aboard space shuttle Atlantis aided by NASA's Closeout Crew. Photo credit: NASA/TV

The STS-129 mission will be commanded by Charles O. Hobaugh and piloted by Barry E. Wilmore. Mission Specialists are Robert L. Satcher Jr., Mike Foreman, Randy Bresnik and Leland Melvin. Wilmore, Satcher and Bresnik will be making their first trips to space.

Atlantis and its crew will deliver two control moment gyroscopes, equipment and EXPRESS Logistics Carrier 1 and 2 to the International Space Station. The mission will feature three spacewalks.

The mission also will return station crew member Nicole Stott to Earth and is slated to be the final space shuttle crew rotation flight.

Atlantis will launch on the STS-129 mission at 2:28 p.m. EST Nov. 16.

STS-129 Additional Resources
› STS-129 Mission Overview
› STS-129 Press Kit (15.5 Mb PDF)
› Mission Summary (518 kb PDF)
› More about STS-129 Crew
› Remaining Shuttle Missions (730Kb)

Live HD coverage at SpaceVidCast. Live video at SFN and Florida Today. Discussion at Nasaspaceflight. Preflight pics are up at JSC and Sentinel. Launch blog at NASA. Pics and video at KSC. More clips at Space Multimedia. Check the links at right for play-by-play and NASA TV.