Space shuttle Atlantis Lifts Off on Final Mission


July 8, 2011

Space shuttle Atlantis Lifts Off on Final Mission

Atlantis was launched from Cape Canaveral at 1129 local time on Friday.
The Atlantis with its crew of four: Capt. Christopher J. Ferguson of the Navy; the pilot, Col. Douglas G. Hurley of the Marines; Sandra H. Magnus; and Rex J. Walheim, a retired Air Force colonel. will ferry 8,000 pounds supplies and spare parts to the International Space Station.
Atlantis, the last of Napa’s operational space shuttles will spend 12 days in Earth orbit including seven days at the orbiting platform.(ISS). The launch had been uncertain until late in the morning, with meteorologists warning of inclement weather conditions closing in on the launchpad at the Kennedy Space Centre, When the bad weather failed to materialise NASA gave the go ahead to launch.
“With today’s final launch of the space shuttle, we turn the page on a remarkable period in America’s history in space, while beginning the next chapter in our nation’s extraordinary story of exploration,” said NASA administrator Charles Bolden in a statement following the launch. “Tomorrow’s destinations will inspire new generations of explorers, and the shuttle pioneers have made the next chapter of human space flight possible.”
As many as a million people were estimated to be gathered at or near the space centre to watch the launch. The shuttle program, which began in 1981, will come to an end when the Atlantis’ wheels roll to a stop on the runway in two weeks. The Atlantis will go on display at the Kennedy Space Centre. The two other retired shuttles are heading to museums in Los Angeles and Virginia.

Publisher: Salient News