Atlantis go for 8 July blast-off
Green light for 'incredibly important' last shuttle mission
Space shuttle Atlantis will blast off to the International Space Station on Friday, 8 July at 15:26 GMT, NASA has confirmed.
Following a Flight Readiness Review, the agency has given a go for the last shuttle mission to deliver the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module to the orbiting outpost, bearing supplies and spares.
Bill Gerstenmaier, assistant administrator for space operations, said: "We had a very thorough review. This flight is incredibly important. The cargo that is coming up on this flight is really mandatory for space station."
On board for the shuttle programme's swansong STS-135 mission will be commander Chris Ferguson (centre right in photo), pilot Doug Hurley (centre left), and mission specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim.
Mike Moses, Space Shuttle Program launch integration manager, chipped in with: "We're really looking forward to achieving this mission, putting station where it needs to be and finishing strong with the shuttle program here with STS-135."
When it returns from its final 12-day trip, Atlantis will be put on permanent display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. ®
Previous reports have only referred to "Discovery's last flight" etc. Next month's flight uses the last external tank. It is the end.
born in the wrong country at the wrong time, I'd have loved to have seen one of these or even better a saturn V take off, watching top gear trying to launch a Mini was about as close as ive ever been to a launch, although saying that, even that gave me a warm fuzzy feeling until it fell like a rock...
When it goes on display...
... will that be in place of the Space Shuttle Explorer replica? Or d'ya think they'll realise early on that they need to build another hall with other displays and interactive elements like they eventually did for the Saturn V/Apollo series?
Did the full tour about a decade back - there was a small-ish Shuttle display and viewing gantry about halfway along the crawlway which gave views of the main launchpads; that could do with beefing up a bit IMO, just maybe not the best place to park it - somewhere nearer VAB and the Saturn V/Apollo Center maybe better.