Five Days to Launch

STS-129 Mission Specialists Robert L Satcher Jr., Leland Melvin and Pilot Barry E. Wilmore
At NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, technicians at Launch Pad 39A begin work today to get space shuttle Atlantis' propulsion systems ready for flight to the International Space Station.

The shuttle's three main engines, as well as the orbital maneuvering system and reaction control system, which will be used to steer Atlantis in space, will start being pressurized for flight.

Techs also will complete installation of sensors and microphones in Atlantis' aft section today for the acoustic environment testing. Final systems checks in the shuttle's aft section are complete.

The STS-129 astronauts will fly to Kennedy tomorrow in NASA's Shuttle Training Aircraft. Landing at the Shuttle Landing Facility is expected around 12 p.m. EST. NASA TV will air the crew's arrival live on the Web at

The countdown to launch begins 1 p.m. Friday.

Liftoff of Atlantis' 11-day cargo mission to the space station is set for 2:28 p.m. EST Nov. 16.