This past Wednesday the orbiter Atlantis was lifted and mated to her external tank and solid rocket boosters in preparation for her final flight and the programs last shuttle flight. A tentative date of July 8th at approximately 11:40 am EDT has been set for the last ever shuttle launch.
The process of going horizontal to vertical begins at around 1:30 pm EDT.
Once vertical it will be several hours before Atlantis is lifted upwards to where it will then be lowered to mate with the external tank and solid rocket boosters.
Going vertical from horizontal takes no more than 15 minutes once the procedure is started.
Looking down at the Atlantis before lifting to mate will begin several hours later.
Vehicles are moved into to place to remove the aft crane assembly before lifting to mate can occur.
The last external tank and solid boosters awaits Atlantis to be lifted and mated into place.
All photographs are copyright SpaceRef.