The six-member crew of the next space shuttle flight practiced driving
an M-113 armored personnel carrier during a full launch dress rehearsal
known as the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test on March 31 at
NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Each astronaut of shuttle Endeavourís STS-134 mission practiced driving
the armored personnel carrier as part of their emergency escape procedure
training. An M-113 will be available to transport crew members to safety
in the event of a contingency on the launch pad before liftoff. The test
provides astronauts and ground crews with an opportunity to participate
in various simulated countdown activities, including equipment familiarization
and emergency training.
Endeavour is targeted to launch April 19 on its final scheduled flight.
During the 14-day STS-134 mission, Endeavourís astronauts will deliver
to the International Space Station the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2,
a particle physics detector designed to search for various types of
unusual matter by measuring cosmic rays. The crew also will deliver
the Express Logistics Carrier-3, a platform that carries spare parts
that will sustain station operations once the shuttles are
retired later this year.
Endeavourís crew members are Commander Mark Kelly, Pilot Greg Johnson,
and mission specialists Mike Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Drew Feustel,
and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori.