The Atlantis astronauts plan a high-flying arrival at the International Space Station today after a two-day trip from Kennedy Space Center.
With mission commander Charlie Hobaugh at the controls, Atlantis is scheduled to dock at the outpost just before noon and then join six researchers aboard the lab two hours later.
"Congratulations on a beautiful, flawless launch, Atlantis," Mission Control told the crew in a message Tuesday. "Now, the fun begins," USA Today informs.
NASA says so far, all indications are that the shuttle made it through Monday's liftoff just fine. The astronauts surveyed their ship Tuesday for any signs of launch damage.
A quick look at the laser images shows everything in good shape. Experts will continue to analyze the data, as well as all the photos that will be taken of Atlantis before it docks, The Associated Press reports.
The shuttle will also ferry NASA astronaut Nicole Stott back home from the space station.
Stott has been living aboard the station since late August as part of the outpost's six-person crew. She will return home on Atlantis and is currently the last astronaut planned to be rotated on and off the station using a NASA shuttle before the fleet is retired in the next year or so.
Stott and her crewmates have been tackling some glitches with the station's systems.
A 150-pound device used to distill astronaut urine into pure drinking water is broken and will have to be returned to Earth on Atlantis. The stations' water processing assembly is also experiencing problems.
Neither glitch is expected to pose any concern to Atlantis' week-long stay at the space station, Cain said, FOX News informs.
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