The six astronauts who are scheduled to launch aboard shuttle Atlantis this month arrived at Kennedy Space Center on Monday to participate in the traditional practice countdown. Liftoff of the STS-115 mission, which will continue assembly of the international space station, is planned on Aug. 27 during a five-minute window opening at 4:29 p.m. Shuttle commander Brent Jett made a few brief remarks Monday to reporters and well-wishers shortly after the crew touched down at KSC's shuttle runway in a trio of T-38 jets.
"The training events of this week mark the last milestones for us in flight preparations," Jett said. "We're looking forward to a good week of training with the launch team and a real smooth countdown , or at least a smooth practice countdown, on Thursday."
Alluding to the sunny blue skies above Cape Canaveral on Monday, Jett added that "It's a beautiful day today. I was kind of hoping we would save some of these days for the end of the month because I think we're going to need them. This is pretty close to our launch time and if we get a day like today on Aug. 27, we'll be in good shape."
The crew's three days of training at KSC will end Thursday with the practice countdown.