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Shuttle launch coverage expands on the Web

Atlantis on the pad waiting for launch
Atlantis on the pad waiting for launch  

(CNN) -- Beginning with the lift off of the space shuttle Atlantis on July 12, the Kennedy Space Center will expand its launch coverage to include downloadable video of activities related to the launch.

The increased coverage will allow visitors to the Kennedy Center Web site to view clips from NASA television and videos exclusive to the Florida center.

Video coverage will start when the shuttle payload bay doors close, usually several days before liftoff. Launch day highlights will include the crew having breakfast, suiting up, leaving for the launch pad, entering the shuttle and closing the hatch.

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The cameras will keep rolling through the final countdown, the launch and right up until the solid rocket boosters separate from the shuttle about two minutes into its flight.

"We're very pleased to have the ability to make these videos available to those who follow our online coverage," said KSC Internet services manager Dennis Armstrong in a statement.

The use of downloadable video clips rather than streaming video will permit clips to be archived on the Internet, allowing KSC site visitors to watch past footage. The video will be available in RealMedia format.

Site managers performed a trial run of the process during the launch of the shuttle Endeavour in April.

The Atlantis crew is scheduled to arrive at Kennedy Space Center late Sunday. The countdown will begin Monday morning. Liftoff is scheduled shortly after 5 a.m. on Thursday. The five astronauts will deliver an air lock to the space station.

To check out the KSC launch coverage, visit Shuttle Countdown Online at

• Kennedy Space Center
• NASA Human SpaceFlight
• The Space Shuttle Clickable Map
• Oceanography from the Space Shuttle
• NASA Space Shuttle Virtual Tour
• Boeing: Space Shuttle Homepage
• Earth from Space

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