Saturday, November 28, 2009

STS-129 Post-landing Crew Conference

Commander Charles O. Hobaugh took the lead describing how well Atlantis performed from launch to landing, and the incredible amount of work that went into preparing both the shuttle and the crew for this ambitious mission.

Hobaugh proudly introduced his crew and the tasks each member was responsible for. He mentioned Mission Specialist Randy Bresnik was not present at the briefing because he flew home to be with his wife and new baby girl, born while he was still on orbit.

Nicole Stott is doing really well, said Hobaugh, after her 91 days in space, 80 of them as flight engineer. She's enjoying Thanksgiving dinner with her family.

Mission Specialist Robert L. Satcher Jr. remarked that the training the crew members received helped them deal with the false alarms that went off a few times during their stay on the orbiting outpost.

After being asked if there were any memories that stood out, Pilot Barry E. Wilmore jokingly said, "I feel great (but) I had noticed that many of the buildings here are on a little bit of a teeter-totter that I didn't know before." Wilmore was referring to coming back to Earth's gravity after being weightless in space.

The crew members fly back to NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston on Saturday. They’ll have the traditional Houston homecoming celebration on Monday.

Space Shuttle Mission: STS-129

Atlantis lands concluding the STS-129 mission
Image above: Space shuttle Atlantis lands on runway 33 at NASA Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility concluding the STS-129 mission. Photo credit: NASA Jack Pfaller
› High-res image

› Meet the STS-129 Crew

Atlantis Lands in Florida
Space shuttle Atlantis and its crew of seven astronauts ended an 11-day journey with a 9:44 a.m. EST landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Atlantis flew 171 orbits around Earth and traveled 4,490,138 miles since its Nov. 16 launch.

The STS-129 mission included three spacewalks and the installation of two platforms to the International Space Station's truss, or backbone. The platforms hold large spare parts to sustain station operations after the shuttles are retired.

The shuttle crew delivered about 30,000 pounds of replacement parts for systems that provide power to the station, keep it from overheating, and maintain a proper orientation in space. The shuttle left the space station 86 percent complete, weighing 759,222 pounds.

Astronaut Nicole Stott returned to Earth after 91 days in space. She had spent 87 days aboard the space station and 80 days as an Expedition 20/21 flight engineer. She is the last astronaut who will be transported to or from the space station by the space shuttle.

Atlantis' main gear touched down at 9:44:23 a.m., followed by the nose gear at 9:44:36 and wheel stop at 9:45:05 a.m.

STS-129 was the 129th space shuttle mission, the 31st for Atlantis and the 31st shuttle mission to the International Space Station. It was the fifth and final flight of 2009.