KSC Contact: Bruce Buckingham

KSC Release No. 26-00

The crew of Space Shuttle mission STS-101 will be at Kennedy Space Center this week for the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT).

The TCDT is held at KSC prior to each Space Shuttle flight, providing the crew of each mission an opportunity to participate in simulated countdown activities. The TCDT ends with a mock launch countdown culminating in a simulated main engine cut-off. The crew also spends time undergoing emergency egress training exercises at the pad and has an opportunity to view and inspect the payloads in the orbiter’s payload bay.

The seven-member crew of mission STS-101 is scheduled to arrive at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF) Wednesday, April 5, at 12:30 p.m. Media who wish to take part in this photo opportunity should be at the KSC Press Site by 11:30 a.m. for transport to the SLF.

On Thursday, April 6, news media representatives will have an opportunity to speak informally with and photograph the crew at Pad 39A. Media interested in participating in this question and answer session should be at the KSC Press Site by 12:30 p.m. for transport to the pad. This question and answer session will be a local media event only. However, the session will be covered live on NASA TV at about 1:30 p.m.

Friday morning, the entire crew will take part in simulated launch day events. Media interested in covering the crew walkout from the Operations and Checkout Building should be at the KSC Press Site by 6:45 a.m. Friday.

Once the crew is at the pad, they will enter the orbiter Atlantis fully suited for the final hours of the practice countdown, including the simulated Shuttle main engine ignition and cut-off. Following TCDT, the crew is scheduled to depart KSC for their homes in Houston for final mission preparations.

Atlantis on mission STS-101 is targeted for launch from Kennedy Space Center on April 24 at about 4:15 p.m. The flight is scheduled to last 9 days, 19 hours and will feature the second Shuttle docking to the International Space Station.

Crew members are Commander James Halsell; Pilot Scott Horowitz; and Mission Specialists Mary Ellen Weber, Jeffrey Williams, James Voss, Susan Helms and Yuri Usachev of the Russian Space Agency.

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