The shuttle and its crew of six will deliver a Russian compartment to the International Space Station. ISS Payload Manager Robbie Ashley says the chamber is filled with 3,000 pounds of supplies.
“A lot of if it is crew provisions — food, other crew supplies. Some of it is station hardware. It’s a mixed bag. There are several laptop computers going up.”
Ashley says once all that cargo is removed, the Russian module will accommodate experiment racks and workstations.
“It will be able to perform science in these workstations. As well as serve as a replacement, or fourth, docking port on the Russian segment. So future Soyuz and Progress vehicles will be able to dock there as one of the Russian segment ports.”
Those Russian vehicles, along with flights from commercial companies, will take supplies to the ISS, once the shuttle is retired. There’s 70 percent chance that Friday’s weather at Cape Canaveral will cooperate with the launch of Atlantis, set for 1:20 p.m., Houston time. This 12-day trip is Atlantis’ final journey. Two more shuttle flights remain.