Hatches Open, Stott Becomes STS-129 Crew Member

Hatches between space shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station were opened at 1:28 p.m. EST, signifying an end after 80 days to Nicole Stott’s time as an Expedition 20/21 flight engineer. Now an STS-129 mission specialist, Stott will have spent a total of 91 days in space if Atlantis lands, as planned, on Nov. 27. She is the last station crew member to return to Earth on the space shuttle; Soyuz spacecraft will be used for future station crew launches and landings.

At 2:28 p.m. the crews will remove the Express Logistics Carrier 1 from Atlantis’ payload bay and at 3:08 p.m., hand if off from the shuttle robotic arm to the station robotic arm.

Two news briefings will be held today on NASA Television. STS-129 Lead Shuttle Flight Director Mike Sarafin will brief reporters on the status of the mission at 2:30 p.m. and Space Shuttle Program deputy manager and Mission Management Team (MMT) chairman LeRoy Cain will hold a post-MMT briefing at 5 p.m.