Thursday, 21 July 2011

Shuttle Atlantis Lands Safely For The Last Time

The Shuttle Atlantis landed safely at 05.57 EDT (10.57 GMT) in perfect conditions after 13 days in space. The STS-135 astronauts, Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim, successfully completed all the mission objectives at the International Space Station and are the last ever to travel on a Space Shuttle.

Space Shuttle Atlantis display at Kennedy Space Center

Once Atlantis is finally decommissioned, it will be displayed at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said "Here at the Kennedy Space Center where every shuttle mission and so many other historic human space flights have originated, we'll showcase my old friend, Atlantis."

Shuttle Atlantis will be suspended in the air with cargo bay doors opened, so it appears to be back in orbit around the Earth. A multi-story digital projection of the home planet that will rotate behind the orbiter in a 64,000 square-foot indoor facility. The exhibit will open in 2013.

Shuttle Atlantis STS-135 Daily Mission Recap - Flight Day 13

Sunday, 10 July 2011

STS-135 Daily Mission Recap - Flight Day 2

Shuttle Atlantis Atlantis Docks to International Space Station

Astronauts Chris Ferguson, STS-135 commander, and Sandy Magnus, mission specialist, on the aft flight deck of the space shuttle Atlantis during the mission's second day of activities in Earth orbit.
(Photo credit: NASA)

At 11:07 am EDT Commander Chris Ferguson guided space shuttle Atlantis into pressurized mating adapter #2 on the International Space Station’s Harmony node. The two spacecraft were flying about 240 miles high, east of New Zealand, at the time they docked.

This was the 12th and final time Atlantis docked to the space station. It was the 46th shuttle docking to a space station, nine to the Russian Mir station and 37 to the International Space Station. Atlantis performed seven of the nine Mir dockings. This was the 86th space shuttle rendezvous operation and the 164th “proximity operation” in the history of the Space Shuttle Program, where a shuttle conducted operations in close proximity to another spacecraft.

The shuttle and station crews will open hatches and hold the traditional welcome ceremony at about 1:19 p.m. Atlantis’ crew of Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim will join Expedition 28 Commander Andrey Borisenko and Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Sergei Volkov of Russia, Satoshi Furukawa from Japan, and NASA’s Ron Garan and Mike Fossum.

The combined crew of 10 begins more than a week of docked operations, transferring vital supplies and equipment to sustain station operations once the shuttles are retired.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Shuttle Atlantis launched successfully on STS-135, the final mission

Photo Credit NASA HD TV

The Shuttle Atlantis launched successfully on STS-135, the final mission at 11.29 am (16.29 BST) after a short delay due to a technical fault.

The historic final ever shuttle mission was nearly delayed by adverse weather, with showers and thunderstorms within 20 nautical miles of the Shuttle Landing Facility for much of the countdown.