Preparing for launch

The astronauts have released their group photo. Those users of twitter present are tweeting, including the 150 official tweet-up participants. The space shuttle Atlantis is prepped for launch. The retrospectives of that shuttle’s career have been published. The official launch blog is active.

The mission STS-132, final planned flight of the Atlantis, to the International Space Station, eleventh time there for the Atlantis, is ready to begin at 19:20 BST/ 14:20 EDT.

You can follow the events via NASA TV (with stuff archived to their Youtube Channel), you can follow on twitter. The ISS, if it is correctly inclined, may also appear above your location, you can use Heavens Above to see whether or not this is so. If you do get to see it, why not take a picture? Snapshots can range from the trail left in the sky caused by the satellite moving over the course of the exposure time to silhouettes of the station against the Sun, to well defined images and maybe even three dimensional videos taken by amateurs from the ground. But how much ground does the ISS cover when flying overhead? This person wants to know.

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