NASA will begin the countdown for launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis
on mission STS-106 Sept. 5 at 11 a.m. EDT at the T-43 hour mark. This
mission marks the 4th Shuttle flight to the International Space Station and
the 3rd Shuttle mission this year. The KSC launch team will conduct the
countdown from Firing Room 1 of the Launch Control Center.

The countdown includes 26 hours and 45 minutes of built-in hold time
leading to a preferred launch time at about 8:45 a.m. on Sept. 8. A
preferred launch window of 2 * minutes exists inside a 10-minute window. The
exact location of the orbiting International Space Station (ISS) will be
determined during the T-9 minute built-in hold. The launch director will at
that time determine the exact time of launch.

Mission STS-106 is the 22nd flight of the orbiter Atlantis
and the 99th flight overall in NASA’s Space Shuttle program. STS-106 is
scheduled to last 10 days, 19 hours and 9 minutes with a planned KSC landing
at about 3:54 a.m. on Sept. 19.

Following Atlantis’ previous flight, STS-101, the orbiter underwent
an accelerated processing turnaround for this mission. Atlantis arrived in
KSC’s Orbiter Processing Facility (OPF) bay 3 May 29. It rolled out of the
OPF on Aug. 7 to be mated with the external tank and solid rocket boosters
in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB). The entire Space Shuttle stack
rolled out to Launch Pad 39B Aug. 13 to undergo final launch preparations.

On mission STS-106, the seven-member crew will prepare ISS for the
arrival of its first international crew later this year. During the flight,
the crew of Atlantis will outfit the newly arrived Zvezda Service Module
with supplies carried to orbit in the double SPACEHAB cargo module and from
a Russian Progress craft currently docked to Zvezda. The mission includes a
single space walk to connect electrical lines and data cables between Zvezda
and the rest of the Station.

The STS-106 crew includes: Commander Terrence Wilcutt, Pilot Scott
Altman, and Mission Specialists Yuri Malenchenko, Boris Morukov, Daniel
Burbank, Edward Lu and Richard Mastracchio.

(end of general release)

COUNTDOWN MILESTONES

*all times are Eastern

Launch – 3 Days (Tuesday, Sept. 5)

* Prepare for the start of the STS-106 launch countdown

* Perform the call-to-stations (10:30 a.m.)

* Countdown begins at the T-43 hour mark (11 a.m.)

* Begin final vehicle and facility close-outs for launch

* Check out back-up flight systems

* Review flight software stored in mass memory units and display
systems

* Load backup flight system software into Atlantis’ general purpose
computers

* Remove mid-deck and flight-deck platforms (7 p.m.)

Launch – 2 Days (Wednesday, Sept. 6)

* Activate and test navigational systems

* Mid-deck and flight deck preliminary inspections complete (12:30
a.m.)

* Complete preparation to load power reactant storage and distribution
system (2 a.m.)

Enter first built-in hold at T-27 hours for duration of 4 hours (3 a.m.)

* Clear launch pad of all non-essential personnel

* Perform test of the vehicle’s pyrotechnic initiator controllers (4
a.m.)

Resume countdown (7 a.m.)

* Begin operations to load cryogenic reactants into Atlantis’ fuelcell storage tanks (7 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

Enter 4-hour built-in hold at T-19 hours (3 p.m.)

* Begin filling pad sound suppression system water tank

* Demate orbiter mid-body umbilical unit

* Resume orbiter and ground support equipment close-outs

* Pad sound suppression system water tank filling complete (6:30 p.m.)

Resume countdown (7 p.m.)

* Final preparations of the Shuttle’s three main engines for main
propellant tanking and flight (7 – 9 p.m.)

Launch -1 Day (Thursday, Sept. 7)

* Close out the tail service masts on the mobile launcher platform (3
a.m.)

Enter planned hold at T-11 hours for 13 hours, 50 minutes (3 a.m.)

* Begin star tracker functional checks (4 a.m.)

* Activate orbiter’s inertial measurement units

* Activate the orbiter’s communications systems

* Install film in numerous cameras on the launch pad (7 a.m.)

* Flight crew equipment late stow (10:50 a.m.)

* Move Rotating Service Structure (RSS) to the park position (12:30
p.m.)

* Perform ascent switch list

* Fuel cell flow-through purge complete (3 p.m.)

Resume countdown (4:50 p.m.)

* Activate the orbiter’s fuel cells (6 p.m.)

* Clear the blast danger area of all non-essential personnel

* Switch Atlantis’ purge air to gaseous nitrogen (7:05 p.m.)

Enter planned 2-hour built-in hold at the T-6 hour mark (9:50 p.m.)

* Launch team verifies no violations of launch commit criteria prior
to cryogenic loading of the external tank

* Clear pad of all personnel

* Chilldown of propellant transfer lines

* Begin loading the external tank with about 500,000 gallons of

cryogenic propellants (about 11:20 p.m.)

Resume countdown (11:50 p.m.)

Launch Day (Friday, Sept. 8)

* Complete filling the external tank with its flight load of liquid
hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants (about 2:20 a.m.)

* Final Inspection Team proceed to launch pad

Enter planned 2-hour built-in hold at T-3 hours (2:50 a.m.)

* Perform inertial measurement unit preflight calibration

* Align Merritt Island Launch Area (MILA) tracking antennas

* Perform open loop test with Eastern Range

Resume countdown at T-3 hours (4:50 a.m.)

* Crew departs Operations and Checkout Building for the pad (at about
5 a.m.)

* Complete close-out preparations in the white room

* Check cockpit switch configurations

* Flight crew begins entry into the orbiter (about 5:30 a.m.)

* Astronauts perform air-to-ground voice checks with Launch and
Mission Control

* Close Atlantis’ crew hatch (about 6:45 a.m.)

* Begin Eastern Range final network open loop command checks

* Perform hatch seal and cabin leak checks

* Complete white room close-out

* Close-out crew moves to fallback area

* Primary ascent guidance data is transferred to the backup flight
system

Enter planned 10-minute hold at T-20 minutes (7:30 a.m.)

* NASA Test Director conducts final launch team briefings

* Complete inertial measurement unit preflight alignments

Resume countdown (7:40 a.m.)

* Transition the orbiter’s onboard computers to launch configuration

* Start fuel cell thermal conditioning

* Close orbiter cabin vent valves

* Transition backup flight system to launch configuration

Enter estimated 45-minute hold at T-9 minutes (7:51 a.m.)

* Launch Director, Mission Management Team and NASA Test Director

conduct final polls for go/no go to launch

Resume countdown at T-9 minutes (8:36 a.m.)

* Start automatic ground launch sequencer (T-9:00 minutes)

* Retract orbiter crew access arm (T-7:30)

* Start mission recorders (T-6:15)

* Start Auxiliary Power Units (T-5:00)

* Arm SRB and ET range safety safe and arm devices (T-5:00)

* Start liquid oxygen drainback (T-4:55)

* Start orbiter aerosurface profile test (T-3:55)

* Start main engine gimbal profile test (T-3:30)

* Pressurize liquid oxygen tank (T-2:55)

* Begin retraction of the gaseous oxygen vent arm (T-2:55)

* Fuel cells to internal reactants (T-2:35)

* Pressurize liquid hydrogen tank (T-1:57)

* Deactivate SRB joint heaters (T-1:00)

* Orbiter transfers from ground to internal power (T-0:50 seconds)

* Ground Launch Sequencer go for auto sequence start (T-0:31 seconds)

* SRB gimbal profile (T-0:21 seconds)

* Ignition of three Space Shuttle main engines (T-6.6 seconds)

* SRB ignition and liftoff (T-0)


SUMMARY OF BUILT-IN HOLDS FOR STS-106

T-TIME     	       LENGTH OF HOLD    	    HOLD BEGINS
HOLD ENDS
T-27 hours		4 hours			3 a.m. Wed.
7 a.m. Wed.
T-19 hours		4 hours			3 p.m. Wed.
7 p.m. Wed.
T-11 hours		13 hours, 50 minutes	3 a.m. Thurs.
4:50 p.m. Thurs.
T-6 hours		2 hours			9:50 p.m. Thurs.
11:50 p.m. Thurs.
T-3 hours		2 hours			2:50 a.m. Fri.
4:50 a.m. Fri.
T-20 minutes		10 minutes			7:30 a.m. Fri.
7:40 a.m. Fri.
T-9 minutes		about 45 minutes		7:51 a.m. Fri.
8:36 a.m. Fri.	

CREW FOR MISSION STS-106

Commander (CDR): Terrence Wilcutt

Pilot (PLT): Scott Altman

Mission Specialist (MS1): Edward Lu

Mission Specialist (MS2): Richard Mastracchio

Mission Specialist (MS3): Daniel Burbank

Mission Specialist (MS4): Yuri Malenchenko

Mission Specialist (MS5): Boris Morukov

SUMMARY OF STS-106 LAUNCH DAY CREW ACTIVITIES

Thursday, Sept. 7

7:30 p.m. Crew wake up

8 p.m. Breakfast

Friday, Sept. 8

3:50 a.m. Light dinner and crew photo

4:20 a.m. Weather briefing (CDR, PLT, MS2)

4:20 a.m. Don launch and entry suits (MS1, MS3, MS4 & MS5)

*4:30 a.m. Don launch and entry suits (CDR, PLT, MS2)

*5 a.m. Depart for Launch Pad 39B

*5:30 a.m. Arrive at white room and begin ingress

*6:45 a.m. Close crew hatch

*8:45 a.m. Launch

* Televised events (times may vary slightly)

All times Eastern