Space Shuttle Atlantis Lifts Off From KSC On Scheduled Date

May 12th, 2009 - 8:23 pm ICT by GD  

Hubble Space Telescope The Space shuttle Atlantis was launched without glitches from the Kennedy Space Center on Monday at 2.01 pm for its 11-day trip to repair the Hubble Space Telescope. On Monday at early hours, a build up of ice had concerned the officials and a team was sent out to the launch pad. According to reports, “Ice forms out of thin air and sticks to a lot of things at the launch pad because the fuel inside the tank is so cold.”

There were also some worries about a brush fire at northern Brevard County that might have affected visibility concerns if the shuttle was to make an emergency landing after take off but both concerns were cleared before the T minus 9 countdown began for the liftoff.

The shuttle is carrying two experiments. The National Lab Pathfinder is to be used to look at pathogenic organisms and a sleep study is scheduled to be conducted in the shuttle’s 11-day mission.

Atlantis is slated to reach Hubble on Wednesday and from Thursday onwards the seven astronauts will conduct the first of the five consecutive spacewalks to ensure that the space telescope can be used at least till 2014. The Hubble Space Telescope also needs new batteries, gyroscopes, cameras and other equipment, most of which ran out in its 19-year old current tenure. It is expected that once the equipment is restored, the Hubble will be able to look 10 to 70 times deeper into the universe and send back previously unseen data.

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