NASA has set the date for the final launch of a Space Shuttle. Friday, July 8th, the Atlantis will make history and close out the 30-year program.
Notes About This Mission:
- The Atlantis will be carrying 4 tons of supplies to the ISS using the MPLM Raffaello.
- The Atlantis will be testing the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM). This proof-of-concept is designed to see if robotic refueling of satellites and spacecraft is feasible.
- This the 135th Shuttle mission and the 33rd for Atlantis.
- She will be flying with a crew of four, instead of the usual 6-7 due to the fact that there is no Shuttle available as an emergency stand-by. In the event of a major failure of the orbiter, the crew will take refuge aboard the ISS and return via Soyuz modules.
- Following her final mission, Atlantis will be retired to the Kennedy Space Center as a museum exhibit.
- The 166th manned space flight mission for NASA and, as of right now, their final one.
I thought we already did the final shuttle launch the last time.
Did they change they mind or did reality change around me again?
Atlantis has been the final mission for quite a while now.
She was already slated to be held on “standby” for Endeavour’s final mission as a rescue vehicle. It was (relatively) cheap to make her full-mission ready.
Sadly, these missions and the fact that NASA’s manned space program has effectively come to an end is not being covered by the mainstream media. Apparently, the ramblings of half-wit politicians and their twittered private parts is far more important.
They devote more attention to those things, but I’ve certainly seen this in the mainstream media.
Now, if we could just get a larger percentage of the public to care about the abandoning of the dream…..
STS-134 was to be the last, but they got the approval to convert STS-335 (Launch On Need for STS-134) to STS-135 last August.
STS-134 was originally scheduled to launch in February, but delays in STS-133 made it slip to May.
After a short delay at :31, Atlantis launched successfully.
End of an era.