Space shuttle Atlantis docks at ISS

November 19th, 2009 - 2:33 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Nov 19 (IANS) US space shuttle Atlantis has docked at the International Space Station (ISS) Wednesday after nearly two days of journey.
Commander Charles Hobaugh steered the shuttle to a docking with the station at 1651 GMT, Xinhua reported quoting US space agency NASA.

Before the docking, Hobaugh maneuvered Atlantis through a backflip rotation to expose the heat shield to station flight engineers and photographers Jeffrey Williams and Nicole Stott.

The photos will be transmitted to Mission Control for evaluation by imagery experts and mission managers to determine whether the heat shield sustained any damage during launch.

Atlantis lifted off from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida Monday. Its 11-day flight will include three spacewalks and installation of two platforms to the station’s truss. The platforms will hold spare parts to sustain station operations after the shuttles’ retirement.

Atlantis’ STS-129 mission is NASA’s fifth and last shuttle mission for 2009. There are five more shuttle launches scheduled before the planned September 2010 retirement of the space shuttle fleet.

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