Space Shuttle Launched


KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. – From the top of the Vehicle Assembly Building, the fiery launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis is seen against the background of the Atlantic Ocean to the east while billows of smoke and steam roll across the launch pad. Atlantis is heading for a rendezvous with the International Space Station on mission STS-115. After launch attempts were scrubbed Aug. 27 and 29 and Sept. 3 and 8 due to weather and technical concerns, this launch was executed perfectly. During the STS-115 mission, Atlantis’ astronauts will deliver and install the 17.5-ton, bus-sized P3/P4 integrated truss segment on the station. The girder-like truss includes a set of giant solar arrays, batteries and associated electronics and will provide one-fourth of the total power-generation capability for the completed station. This mission is the 116th space shuttle flight, the 27th flight for orbiter Atlantis, and the 19th U.S. flight to the ISS. STS-115 is scheduled to last 11 days with a planned landing at KSC. Photo credit: NASA/George Shelton


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