Shuttle Atlantis lumbers to launchpad after misstep
Atlantis rolls out at Kennedy Space Center
(CNN) -- The space shuttle Atlantis began a slow lumber to a
Kennedy Space Center launchpad Wednesday morning, the day after
NASA managers ditched the first rollout attempt.
The shuttle is being readied for a flight later this month to
deliver the main science laboratory module to the international
Atlantis, rumbling along on top of a massive crawler at less than
1 mph, should reach the launchpad Wednesday afternoon, said Joel
Wells, spokesperson for Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral,
NASA engineers tried to roll out the shuttle Tuesday morning, but
a computer problem with a crawler forced them to halt the trip.
They moved the shuttle out Wednesday aboard a backup trawler
while technicians studied the glitch on the first one.
"Crawler Two is currently taking the shuttle out to the launchpad. One had a computer processor failure and the mission team is
trouble shooting that now," Wells said Wednesday.
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The shuttle crawlers have roughly the same surface area as a
baseball diamond and move a total of 17 million pounds when they
transport shuttles to the Kennedy Space Center launchpad.
Mission managers were evaluating the impact of the rollout delay
on the remainder of the shuttle's processing schedule.
Atlantis and its five-member crew is currently scheduled to
launch no earlier than January 19 to deliver the U.S.-built
Destiny segment to the space station Alpha. Atlantis last flew in
The flight will be the first shuttle mission of 2001 and the
seventh in the ongoing assembly of the space station. The $100
billion orbiting outpost currently hosts its first long-term
residents, two Russians and one American who are halfway into a
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Shuttle Orbiter Atlantis (OV-104)
Kennedy Space Center
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