The Space Shuttle Atlantis will launch July 12 to carry a new airlock to the
International Space Station, a mission that will bring the orbiting outpost
an unprecedented degree of self-reliance, providing it with a new doorway to
space for maintenance and construction.

Atlantis is scheduled for liftoff at 5:04 a.m. EDT July 12 from the Kennedy
Space Center, the beginning of an approximately five minute launch window.
Atlantis’ mission, designated STS-104, will be the fourth shuttle flight
this year and the 10th shuttle mission dedicated to assembly of the
International Space Station.

“This mission will be a milestone for both the station and shuttle as we
complete a major phase of the station’s assembly,” Space Shuttle Program
Manager Ron Dittemore said. “A year ago, I said we would fly the most
complex series of missions NASA has undertaken since landing on the moon —
now we’re nearing completion of the first phase. The team has truly done an
excellent job to get us here safely, successfully and on schedule.”

Atlantis’ mission includes three space walks to install and outfit the
station’s new Joint Airlock, including the first-ever outside space walk to
originate from the station. Atlantis’ crew will be commanded by Air Force
Lt. Col. Steve Lindsey. Marine Corps Maj. Charlie Hobaugh will serve as
pilot. The crew also includes astronauts Mike Gernhardt, Janet Kavandi and
Jim Reilly. Gernhardt and Reilly will perform the planned space walks. The
mission will be the second shuttle to visit the station during the stay of
the second station crew – Commander Yuri Usachev and Flight Engineers Jim
Voss and Susan Helms – now in their fourth month aboard the complex

Atlantis is scheduled to land at the Kennedy Space Center at 12:56 a.m. EDT
July 23.