Against a backdrop of the cloudy sky and blue-gray Atlantic Ocean, Space Shuttle Atlantis is revealed after rollback of the Rotating Service Structure. On top of the external tank is the 13-foot-wide “beanie cap,” at the end of the Gaseous Oxygen Vent Arm, designed to vent gaseous oxygen vapors away from the Space Shuttle. Lower is the Orbiter Access Arm with the environmental chamber, known as the “white room,” extended to the orbiter. The chamber provides entry for the crew into the orbiter and also serves as emergency egress up to 7 minutes 24 seconds before launch. Ready for launch of mission STS-106 at 8:45 a.m. EDT on Sept. 8, Atlantis carries supplies to prepare the Russian Zvezda living quarters on the International Space Station for the first long-duration crew. The crew will also be transferring supplies from the Russian Progress resupply ship already docked to the aft of Zvezda. The fourth U.S. launch for the Space Station, the mission is expected to last 10 days, 19 hours and 9 minutes, landing at KSC 4:59 a.m. EDT on Sept. 19. (Photo Release Date: 09/07/2000 )

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