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Atlantis is moved to its launch pad

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., March 31 (UPI) -- Space shuttle Atlantis was moved Tuesday to Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for its scheduled May 12 launch.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the move started at 3:54 a.m. EDT and ended at 11:17 a.m. when the spacecraft was securely fastened to the pad.

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Atlantis' STS-125 crew will be making the final shuttle flight to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. During the 11-day mission, the crew is to conduct five spacewalks to install two new instruments, repair two inactive ones and replace various components. NASA said the updates will extend the Hubble Space Telescope's operational lifespan through at least 2014.

Scott Altman will be the commander of the shuttle, while astronaut Gregory Johnson will be the pilot. The Atlantis crew will also include astronauts John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino, Megan McArthur, Andrew Feustel and Michael Good.

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