Spaceflight Now





The Mission




Orbiter: Atlantis
Mission: STS-135
Payload: Raffaello
Launch: July 8, 2011
Time: 11:29 a.m. EDT
Site: Pad 39A, Kennedy Space Center
Landing: July 21 @ 5:57 a.m. EDT
Site: KSC's Shuttle Landing Facility

Mission Status Center

Launch Windows Chart

Countdown Timeline

Ascent Timeline

Master Flight Plan

SRB Case History

NASA TV (rev. N)

STS-135 Mission Index

Our Shuttle Archive




The Crew




Cdr Chris Ferguson

Pilot Doug Hurley

MS 1 Sandy Magnus

MS 2 Rex Walheim







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STS-135 Mission Coverage



Photo galleries: Atlantis attraction now open

With more than 40 astronauts in attendance, including at least one member of every Atlantis flight crew, the space shuttle attraction launched at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex on Saturday morning.

   PHOTOS: OPENING DAY FESTIVITIES
   PHOTOS: TAKE TOUR OF ATLANTIS FACILITY


Fourth space shuttle retirement home opens

Two years after the final space shuttle launch, the sentimental sendoff to put the retired orbiters on public display around the country was finished Saturday with the opening of the extravagant Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex attraction showcasing Atlantis.

   FULL STORY
   PHOTOS: ATLANTIS READY FOR OPENING DAY
Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers. Hi-def video files are presented in 720p resolution:
VIDEO: GRAND OPENING FESTIVITIES PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTIS EXHIBIT OPENS WITH PYROTECHNICS HI-DEF
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Atlantis showcase on track for June 29 opening day

It's T-minus 3 weeks and counting until the grand opening of the space shuttle Atlantis attraction at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida, just miles from where the orbiter was processed and launched on 33 missions.

   PHOTO GALLERY


Atlantis' payload bay doors swing open for display

The clamshell payload bay doors of space shuttle Atlantis swung open this week at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex as the retired ship is configured to mimic her flying days in orbit.
   FULL STORY
Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
Hi-def video files are presented in 720p resolution
VIDEO: PAYLOAD BAY DOORS OPENED PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: DOOR OPENING TIME LAPSE: IN FRONT PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: DOOR OPENING TIME LAPSE: OVERHEAD PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: SHIP CLEANED AFTER WRAPPING REMOVED PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: ATLANTIS UNWRAPPED FROM PLASTIC COVERING PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LOOK BACK TO EARLY CONSTRUCTION PLAY | HI-DEF

VIDEO: ARRIVAL AND FIREWORKS AT RETIREMENT HOME PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: AERIAL VIEWS OF SHUTTLE ATLANTIS PARADE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: RETIRED SHUTTLE ATLANTIS LEAVES COMPLEX 39 PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: PAYLOAD BAY DOORS CLOSED IN THE HANGAR PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: REPLICA DOCKING SYSTEM INSTALLED PLAY | HI-DEF
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Form-fitting plastic cover removed from Atlantis


The space shuttle Atlantis, now a museum piece at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, has emerged from the protective plastic cocoon that had encased the spacecraft since November.

   FULL STORY
   SEE PHOTO GALLERY
   OUR ARCHIVE

Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
These video files are presented in 720p resolution
VIDEO: SHUTTLE ATLANTIS UNWRAPPED IN MUSEUM HI-DEF
VIDEO: LONG-LENGTH OF UNWRAPPING HIGHLIGHTS HI-DEF
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Replica space shuttle boosters rising at the Cape

Towering replicas of the twin solid-fuel booster rockets that provided the vast majority of thrust to propel space shuttles skyward are being stacked outside the new Atlantis exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

   FULL STORY
   PHOTO GALLERY


KSC museum gets makeover ahead of Atlantis opening

Tourists coming to America's spaceport at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex are being greeted by a modernized entrance, a facelift officially unveiled Thursday as part of the park's expansion in the coming years.
   FULL STORY
   IMAGES: PHOTO GALLERY


Shuttle Atlantis lifted, tilted in museum home

It is a space shuttle orbiter like you've never seen before -- wrapped in a plastic cocoon, perched atop pedestals and tilted at a steep angle -- while construction crews finish building a massive exhibit hall around the spaceship.
   FULL STORY
   IMAGES: PHOTO GALLERY


Shuttle Atlantis wrapped in protective covering

The space shuttle Atlantis has been encased in a protective plastic, a wrap that will keep the spacecraft dust-free while construction crews finish building the exhibit hall to showcase her to the public.
   IMAGES: PHOTO GALLERY
   SHUTTLE STATUS CENTER
   IMAGES: PARADE GALLERY
   ATLANTIS' FINAL MISSION


This time-lapse video captures Atlantis' 9.8-mile journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for retirement.



Early peek at shuttle Atlantis inside retirement home

Although the new $100 million facility to showcase the space shuttle Atlantis won't be finished and opened to the public until next July, tourists can get a "sneak peek" of the retired orbiter this week parked inside the exhibit hall at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
   IMAGES: PHOTO GALLERY


Atlantis museum transfer a final ending to shuttle era

The shuttle Atlantis was hauled away from Kennedy Space Center's Complex 39 Friday, leaving the hub of space shuttle operations barren for the first time since 1979.
   IMAGES: FRIDAY'S PARADE PHOTO GALLERY
   PREVIEW STORY
   SHUTTLE STATUS CENTER - live updates and streaming video!
   IMAGES: PHOTOS ON EVE OF PARADE
   ATLANTIS' FINAL MISSION


Atlantis museum transfer a final ending to shuttle era

Looking to leave before sunup Friday, Atlantis will be hauled away from Kennedy Space Center's Complex 39 and leave the hub of space shuttle operations barren for the first time since 1979.
   FULL STORY
   SHUTTLE STATUS CENTER - live updates and streaming video!
   IMAGES: PHOTOS ON EVE OF PARADE
   ATLANTIS' FINAL MISSION


Final space shuttle ready for shipment to retirement site

The final moment resembling normalcy in the space shuttle era at the Kennedy Space Center occurred Wednesday morning as Atlantis rolled from her hangar to the Vehicle Assembly Building, a trek performed 35 times for real in the ship's flying days and now one last time for storage to await transfer to the spaceport's museum Nov. 2.

   FULL STORY
   IMAGES: FINAL ROLLOVER PHOTO GALLERY


Atlantis hall 2 months away from receiving showpiece

The massive new building that has sprouted up on the Kennedy Space Center landscape to display the space shuttle Atlantis as a national treasure will receive the spacecraft Nov. 2, officials said Wednesday during a "topping off" ceremony.
   FULL STORY
   IMAGES:WEDNESDAYS TOPPING OFF CEREMONY
   IMAGES:AIRLOCK REPLICA INSTALLED


The majesty of a spaceship: Up-close with Atlantis

In the quiet, peaceful setting of a storage bay in the northwest corner of NASA's cavernous Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center on Monday afternoon, Spaceflight Now photographer Walter Scriptunas II used the tranquil opportunity to shoot this gallery that captures the space shuttle Atlantis in exquisite detail.

   SPECIAL PHOTO GALLERY
Shuttle Atlantis makes familiar trip one more time
Mere minutes after the Delta 4-Heavy rocket's thunderous roar reverberated across Florida's Space Coast on its successful trek to space Friday morning, the retired space shuttle Atlantis made a brief appearance outdoors as she moved from the hangar to the Vehicle Assembly Building.
   FULL STORY AND PHOTO GALLERY


Atlantis fitted with main engine replicas for museum

Already having been powered off for the final time, the shells of rocket pods installed on her tail and nose and key components removed for future use, technicians Tuesday finished inserting replica main engines on space shuttle orbiter Atlantis for permanent display at Kennedy Space Center's Visitor Complex.

   SPECIAL PHOTO GALLERY
   STORY ON KSC VISITOR COMPLEX PLANS


Photo spread: Atlantis moves to VAB, but only for storage

The shuffling of NASA's three retired space shuttle orbiters between the two remaining hangars at the Kennedy Space Center continued Friday morning as Atlantis was moved into a two-month storage at the Vehicle Assembly Building.
Check out our 5-page photo collection from the event.

   PHOTO GALLERY


Construction about to begin on Atlantis' new home

Kennedy Space Center tourism officials, Florida's lieutenant governor and the final space shuttle commander Wednesday morning broke ground on the $100 million complex that will showcase the retired orbiter Atlantis.

   FULL STORY
   FINAL FLIGHT OF ATLANTIS
   VIDEO: FINAL MISSION ARCHIVE
   HDTV: HIGH-DEFINITION VIDEO


Special photo gallery: Atlantis' cargo bay emptied

The final space shuttle payloads were removed from Atlantis' cargo bay Tuesday morning inside Kennedy Space Center's orbiter processing hangar. The Italian-made Raffaello logistics module and the failed ammonia coolant pump returned from the International Space Station during the July shuttle mission. Spaceflight Now had the rare opportunity to witness Tuesday's unloading operation and shoot this photo gallery.

   PHOTO GALLERY


FINALITY OF THE MOMENT:
The shuttle program is over


The iconic soul of America's space program for the past 30 years slipped gracefully into history on a dark runway Thursday morning as the winged spaceship Atlantis made a poignant touchdown to conclude the shuttle program. The five remarkable flying machines launched on 135 missions, traveled 542,398,878 miles that spanned 21,152 orbits of the planet, and carried 355 humans and 3.5 million pounds of payloads as the Space Transportation System.

   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - live updates and streaming video!
   IMAGES: RE-ENTRY SEEN FROM SPACE
   IMAGES: LANDING PHOTO GALLERY
   IMAGES: ATLANTIS ON THE RUNWAY
   IMAGES: SHUTTLE CREW THANKS WORKFORCE
   VIDEO: FINAL SHUTTLE TV TRANSMISSION
   SHUTTLE ENTRY GROUND TRACK
   NASA TV SCHEDULE REV. N (.pdf download)
   STS-135 ARCHIVE


Space shuttle Atlantis landing just hours away

The final hours of the space shuttle program are ticking as Atlantis prepares for Thursday's predawn landing at the Kennedy Space Center. Touchdown on Runway 15 is scheduled for 5:56 a.m. EDT to conclude three decades of flight for America's Space Transportation System.

   WEATHER LOOKS PROMISING


Astronauts ready Atlantis for Thursday's landing

The crew of the shuttle Atlantis, working through one of the busiest days of their mission, tested the orbiter's re-entry systems Wednesday and packed up for landing Thursday to close out NASA's 135th and final shuttle mission.

   FULL STORY
   NASA TV SCHEDULE REV. M (.pdf download)
Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 13 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: COMMANDER'S GOODNIGHT MESSAGE PLAY
VIDEO: NETWORK TV INTERVIEWS WITH THE CREW PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: PICOSAT DEPLOYED FROM SPACE SHUTTLE PLAY
VIDEO: TESTING OF ATLANTIS' AEROSURFACES PLAY
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Awe-inspiring onboard video views of Atlantis' launch

Take a ride on the final space shuttle launch with remarkable footage captured from cameras mounted on the solid rocket boosters, external fuel tank and even inside Atlantis' cockpit looking back at the astronauts. Check out these amazing videos of the spacecraft soaring to orbit, which are presented here for Spaceflight Now+Plus users with launch audio.

Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: LAUNCH WITH THE ASTRONAUTS IN THE COCKPIT PLAY
VIDEO: LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING UPWARD PLAY
VIDEO: LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING INBOARD PLAY
VIDEO: LEFT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING DOWNWARD PLAY
VIDEO: RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING UPWARD PLAY
VIDEO: RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING INBOARD PLAY
VIDEO: RIGHT-HAND BOOSTER CAMERA LOOKING DOWNWARD PLAY
VIDEO: EXTERNAL TANK CAMERA FROM LIFTOFF TO SEPARATION PLAY
MORE: STS-135 VIDEO COVERAGE
MORE: HIGH DEFINITION VIDEO COVERAGE
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International Space Station bids goodbye to the shuttle

The final space shuttle parted company with the International Space Station on Tuesday in a sentimental sendoff for America's winged machines that spent the past decade constructing the million-pound science complex and supplying the orbiting laboratory with vast loads of logistics. In 37 missions, the shuttles spent 276 days, 11 hours and 23 minutes docked at the station.

   FULL STORY
   NASA TV SCHEDULE REV. L (.pdf download)
Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 12 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: FINAL ORBITER HEAT SHIELD INSPECTIONS PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE'S FLYAROUND OF THE SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: STATION PERFORMS 90-DEGREE YAW MANEUVER PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTIS' UNDOCKING AS SEEN LIVE PLAY
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Raffaello cargo module returned to shuttle bay

In the dwindling hours of the shuttle program's last visit to the International Space Station, the Atlantis astronauts detached the bus-size Raffaello cargo module and moved it back to the shuttle's payload bay, wrapping up NASA's final shuttle-station resupply mission.

   FULL STORY
   NASA TV SCHEDULE REV. K (.pdf download)
Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 11 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: FAREWELL CEREMONY FOR SHUTTLE CREW PLAY
VIDEO: TIME-LAPSE OF RAFFAELLO OPERATIONS PLAY
VIDEO: MODULE RETURNED TO SHUTTLE BAY PLAY
VIDEO: RAFFAELLO DETACHED FROM STATION PLAY
VIDEO: ROBOT ARM GRAPPLES CARGO MODULE PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR UPDATE PLAY
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Station restocking completed by shuttle Atlantis crew

The Atlantis astronauts put in a final day of logistics transfer work Sunday, working through off-duty time to finish moving a last few items into the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module for return to Earth. If all goes well, the cargo module will be detached from the station's forward Harmony module and mounted back in the shuttle's payload bay early Monday, setting the stage for the ship's final departure from the lab complex Tuesday morning.

   FULL STORY
   MORNING STORY
   NASA TV SCHEDULE REV. K (.pdf download)
Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 10 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR UPDATE PLAY
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Shuttle crew repacking cargo module for Earth return

Work to move supplies and equipment into the International Space Station and to reload a shuttle cargo module with trash, packing material and no-longer-needed gear is about 78 percent complete as the Atlantis astronauts move into the home stretch of NASA's final shuttle mission.

   FULL STORY
   NASA TV SCHEDULE REV. J (.pdf download)
Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 9 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: SATURDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR UPDATE PLAY
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Obama calls space to praise shuttle and station crews

President Barack Obama made a long distance call from the Oval Office to International Space Station Friday, congratulating the Atlantis astronauts and their station colleagues on the 135th and final space shuttle mission, vowing an "exciting new era" of post-shuttle exploration.

   FULL STORY
   ATLANTIS COMPUTER RESTARTED
   MORNING STORY
Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 8 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: PRESIDENT OBAMA CALLS THE ASTRONAUTS IN SPACE PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE AND STATION CREW NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: PHILLY TV AND RADIO AND REUTERS INTERVIEWS PLAY
VIDEO: CBS NEWS RADIO, PHILLY TV AND THE AP INTERVIEWS PLAY
VIDEO: FRIDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR UPDATE PLAY
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Computer shutdown triggers alarm and awakens crew

The Atlantis astronauts were awakened by a master alarm Thursday when one of the shuttle's five general purpose computers apparently failed, NASA officials said. GPC-4 was running systems management software at the time and commander Christopher Ferguson spent about 45 minutes loading that software into general purpose computer No. 2 before going back to bed.

   FULL STORY
   MORNING STORY
   NASA TV SCHEDULE REV. G (.pdf download)
   STS-135 ARCHIVE
Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 7 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: CHICAGO, OAKLAND AND PHILLY TV INTERVIEWS PLAY
VIDEO: FOX NEWS RADIO AND ST. LOUIS TV INTERVIEWS PLAY
VIDEO: THURSDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR UPDATE PLAY
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Astronauts now focusing on hectic cargo transfer work

With a final shuttle-era spacewalk behind them, the Atlantis astronauts focused on logistics transfers Wednesday, devoting their day to moving cargo and supplies from the shuttle's crew cabin and the Raffaello multi-purpose module into the International Space Station. They also took time for maintenance work, servicing the lab's U.S. toilet and restarting the crew's urine recycling system after standing down a day to let a strong odor dissipate.

   FULL STORY
   MORNING STORY
   NASA TV SCHEDULE REV. F (.pdf download)
Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 6 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: WEDNESDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR UPDATE PLAY
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Final spacewalk in the space shuttle era is complete

International Space Station residents Mike Fossum and Ron Garan stepped outside Tuesday to lend helping hands to the space shuttle mission, packing a failed ammonia coolant pump into Atlantis' payload bay for return to Earth and unloading a satellite servicing demonstrator carried to orbit aboard the visiting spaceplane. The spacewalkers also deployed a new materials science experiment, fixed a snagged wire in one of the station's robot arm operating bases and wrapped a vacant docking port with a thermal cover. This was the lone EVA planned for Atlantis' mission, bringing the spacewalking era for the space shuttle program to conclusion.

   FULL STORY
   MORNING STORY
   ARCHIVE MISSION STATUS CENTER
   IMAGES: ASTRONAUTS VENTURE OUTDOORS
   NASA TV SCHEDULE REV. E (.pdf download)
Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 5 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: FINAL SHUTTLE-ERA SPACEWALK CONCLUDES PLAY
VIDEO: PROTECTIVE COVER PUT ON VACANT DOCKING PORT PLAY
VIDEO: FIXING SNAGGED WIRE ON ZARYA GRAPPLE FIXTURE PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKER GOES SIGHT-SEEING HIGH ABOVE EARTH PLAY
VIDEO: SATELLITE SERVICING DEMONSTRATOR GIVEN TO DEXTRE PLAY
VIDEO: ROBOTIC REFUELING MISSION MOVED TO THE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALKERS SWAP POSITIONS ABOARD ROBOT ARM PLAY
VIDEO: PUMP STOWED IN ATLANTIS BAY FOR RETURN TO EARTH PLAY
VIDEO: STUNNING VIEWS OF ASTRONAUT RIDING ROBOT ARM PLAY
VIDEO: FAILED PUMP FREED FROM STORAGE BOX PLAY
VIDEO: SPACEWALK NO. 1 GETS UNDERWAY PLAY
VIDEO: STEP-BY-STEP PREVIEW OF SPACEWALK PLAY
VIDEO: TUESDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR UPDATE PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 4 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
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Space station resupply pod hoisted from Atlantis' bay

A cargo-delivery module packed with 9,400 pounds of food, equipment and science gear departed shuttle Atlantis' payload bay Monday morning and parked at the International Space Station's doorway for unloading. Meanwhile, NASA has officially added an extra day to the shuttle mission.

   FULL STORY
   MORNING STORY
   ARCHIVE MISSION STATUS CENTER
   NASA TV SCHEDULE REV. D (.pdf download)
Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: RAFFAELLO MODULE CONNECTED TO STATION PLAY
VIDEO: CARGO-DELIVERY MODULE UNBERTHED FROM ATLANTIS PLAY
VIDEO: ROBOT ARM GRAPPLES MODULE IN SHUTTLE BAY PLAY
VIDEO: MONDAY MORNING FLIGHT DIRECTOR UPDATE PLAY

VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 1 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: THE FULL STS-135 LAUNCH EXPERIENCE PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE ATLANTIS BLASTS OFF! PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: GO INSIDE MISSION CONTROL DURING LAUNCH PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: THE POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY

VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: VAB ROOF PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PRESS SITE PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD PERIMETER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: BEACH TRACKER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD FRONT CAMERA PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD CAMERA 070 PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: PAD CAMERA 071 PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: UCS-23 TRACKER PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LAUNCH REPLAY: WEST TOWER PLAY | HI-DEF

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Atlantis gracefully docks to International Space Station

America's final space shuttle has arrived at the International Space Station, the science laboratory it trucked piece by piece to orbit for assembly, to deliver one last massive load of goods and provisions that only the winged spaceplanes can carry.

   FULL STORY
   MORNING STORY
   ARCHIVE MISSION STATUS CENTER
   IMAGES: SHUTTLE MEETS UP WITH STATION
   NASA TV SCHEDULE REV. C (.pdf download)
Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: FLIGHT DAY 3 HIGHLIGHTS REEL PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY'S MISSION MANAGEMENT TEAM UPDATE PLAY
VIDEO: SUNDAY'S MISSION STATUS BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTIS CREW WELCOMED ABOARD STATION PLAY
VIDEO: DOCKING OF SHUTTLE TO STATION AS SEEN LIVE PLAY
VIDEO: SHUTTLE ARCS OUT IN FRONT OF SPACE STATION PLAY
VIDEO: ATLANTIS PERFORMS THE 360-DEGREE BACKFLIP PLAY
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Shuttle boosters back in port after final launch
The solid rocket boosters from the space shuttle's final launch are back in port. These images show one of the spent motor casings arriving back at Port Canaveral on Sunday.
   IMAGES: BOOSTER TOWED INTO PORT
   IMAGES: GOING THROUGH THE LOCK


Astronauts give Atlantis full post-launch inspection

The Atlantis astronauts inspected the shuttle's heat shield Saturday and fine tuned the shuttle's approach to the International Space Station, setting their sights on docking at the lab's forward port around 11:07 a.m. EDT Sunday.

   FULL STORY
   MORNING STORY
   ARCHIVE MISSION STATUS CENTER
   NASA TV SCHEDULE REV. B (.pdf download)


America's space shuttle blasts off on one last mission

After a cliff-hangar countdown, the space shuttle Atlantis thundered to life and majestically rocketed into history Friday, putting on one last sky show for spectators jamming area roads and beaches to witness NASA's 135th and final shuttle launch.

   FULL STORY
   ARCHIVE MISSION STATUS CENTER
   LIGHTNING HITS THE LAUNCH PAD
   IMAGES: SPECTACULAR SHUTTLE CLOSE-UPS
   IMAGES: PRESS SITE LAUNCH PHOTOS
   IMAGES: ATLANTIS REVEALED FOR LAUNCH

   NASA TV SCHEDULE REV. A (.pdf download)
   LAUNCH WINDOWS CHART
   COUNTDOWN SCHEDULE
   ASCENT EVENTS TIMELINE
   MASTER FLIGHT PLAN


Mission preview: Shuttle finale brings uncertain future

NASA is readying the shuttle Atlantis for launch Friday on the iconic program's 135th and final flight, bringing the curtain down on one of the nation's greatest technological triumphs after more than three decades at the apex of manned spaceflight.

   FULL REPORT
Painful retirement for space shuttle operations team
Atlantis' landing will come seven-and-a-half years after President George W. Bush, responding to the 2003 Columbia disaster, ordered NASA to complete the International Space Station and retire the space shuttle fleet by the end of the decade.

U.S. must rely upon the Russians for access to space
Reliance on the former Cold War rival has been a particularly bitter pill to swallow for many at NASA, forced to retire the most sophisticated manned spacecraft ever built before a U.S. replacement is available.

Dismantling remaining shuttle team looms
As NASA's fortunes have waxed and waned, buffeted by political upheaval, an economic crisis and uncertain public support, the one constant has been the shuttle's looming retirement and the slow but steady elimination of the program's highly skilled workforce.

Soyuz capsules would rescue Atlantis crew
Atlantis is using NASA's final set of solid-fuel boosters and its last external tank, so there isn't another shuttle waiting in the wings for a quick-response rescue mission if needed. Soyuz lifeboats will be used in such a dire scenario.

Atlantis' astronaut crew faces tight mission timeline
The day after takeoff will be particularly busy as the astronauts as they inspect the shuttle's heat shield, dock to the International Space Station and mount the Raffaello module onto the complex.

Station crew to do spacewalk chores on Atlantis visit
While the astronauts begin unloading the cargo module, fellow station residents Ron Garan and Mike Fossum will conduct the mission's only spacewalk.

The final shuttle re-entry
Hundreds of engineers, technicians, astronauts and NASA managers will be standing by to welcome Atlantis and its crew home and to "share the moment" as the shuttle program comes to an end after three decades.
Iffy weather forecast clouds Friday's launch plans
Forecasters are predicting a 70 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms Friday that could delay launch of the shuttle Atlantis. But barring a dramatic change for the worse, the chairman of NASA's mission management team says he plans to press ahead with flight preparations.
   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - updates and video!

   NASA TV SCHEDULE REV. 0 (.pdf download)
   LAUNCH WINDOWS CHART
   COUNTDOWN SCHEDULE
   MASTER FLIGHT PLAN
   STS-135 ARCHIVE


Shuttle Atlantis prepares to take flight for a final journey

As we prepare to say goodbye to the space shuttle, let's take a moment to reflect on the ship that will sail the final voyage this week with a look at Atlantis' history and a special photo tribute as she stands on the launch pad one last time.

   HISTORY OF ATLANTIS
   IMAGES: SPECIAL PHOTO TRIBUTE


Countdown commences for shuttle Atlantis' blastoff

Countdown clocks began ticking Tuesday for the shuttle Atlantis' launch Friday on NASA's 135th and final shuttle mission, a flight to deliver more than 8,000 pounds of supplies and equipment to the International Space Station.

   FULL STORY
   IMAGES: L-MINUS 3 DAYS
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VIDEO: COUNTDOWN PREVIEW AND WEATHER FORECAST BRIEFING PLAY
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Shuttle Atlantis astronauts arrive for Friday's launch

This was it. The last time a space shuttle crew will jet into the Kennedy Space Center to begin their countdown. And no one knows when the next time astronauts will come to the Florida spaceport to be launched from the planet.

   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - live updates and streaming video!
   IMAGES: LAST SHUTTLE CREW ARRIVES
Spaceflight Now Plus
Additional coverage for subscribers:
VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS ARRIVE AT LAUNCH SITE PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS FERGUSON PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH DOUG HURLEY PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH SANDY MAGNUS PLAY
VIDEO: PRE-FLIGHT INTERVIEW WITH REX WALHEIM PLAY

VIDEO: SHUTTLE AND STATION PROGRAM BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: THE STS-135 MISSION OVERVIEW PRESENTATIONS PLAY
VIDEO: PREVIEW BRIEFING ON MISSION'S SPACEWALK PLAY
VIDEO: THE ASTRONAUTS' PRE-FLIGHT NEWS BRIEFING PLAY
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Get to know Atlantis' crew: The final shuttle astronauts

Fergie, Chunky, Sandy and Rex. You can call them "the final four." They are the astronauts chosen to launch Atlantis into orbit Friday for the space shuttle program's grand finale.

   FULL STORY


Shuttle Atlantis' payload bay doors sealed for flight

The 60-foot-long payload bay doors of space shuttle Atlantis were swung shut and latched for flight at pad 39A Wednesday. The next time the doors will be opened is in orbit, about 90 minutes after launch.

   IMAGES: PHOTO GALLERY



NASA formally sets July 8 for final shuttle launch

Senior NASA officials held the final space shuttle flight readiness review at the Kennedy Space Center today and affirmed plans to launch Atlantis next week as scheduled.

   FULL STORY

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VIDEO: ATLANTIS CLEARED FOR JULY 8 LAUNCH PLAY
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Station crew 'shelters in place' for debris threat
The six-member crew of the International Space Station was told to seek shelter in two Russian Soyuz spacecraft Tuesday because of a predicted close pass by an unknown piece of space debris. But the time of closest approach came and went harmlessly at 8:08 a.m. EDT.
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Countdown dress rehearsal completed for Atlantis

Thursday morning was a practice launch day at the Kennedy Space Center for the shuttle Atlantis, her four-person astronaut crew and the various ground teams supporting the spacecraft's ascent to orbit.

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   IMAGES: DAY'S PHOTO GALLERY



Shuttle tank inspections going well, valve replaced

Engineers carrying out X-ray inspections of rib-like "stringers" in the shuttle Atlantis' external tank are running ahead of schedule and so far, officials said Wednesday, there are no signs of any temperature-induced cracks in the wake of a fueling test last week. Working in parallel, another team has replaced a leaking hydrogen valve in main engine No. 3.

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Shuttle Atlantis crew takes armored tank for a spin

Space shuttle Atlantis' astronauts Tuesday took turns test-driving an armored tank around Complex 39 as part of their emergency training exercises. The tank would be used by the crew to escape the pad 39A bunker in a dire scenario during the countdown.

   PHOTO GALLERY



Shuttle crew comes to town for practice countdown

The four astronauts to fly Atlantis on the final space shuttle voyage have jetted into the Kennedy Space Center for this week's countdown dress rehearsal and emergency training drills.

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Shuttle Atlantis receives payloads for space station

A cargo-laden module stuffed with a full year's worth of necessities for the International Space Station was loaded into shuttle Atlantis' payload bay Monday to prepare for launch next month.

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   IMAGES: PAYLOADS INSTALLED INTO ORBITER



Atlantis tank inspections, engine valve swap on tap

A hydrogen fuel valve in one of the shuttle Atlantis' three main engines that appeared to leak during an external tank fueling test Wednesday will be replaced next week in parallel with work to X-ray structural stiffeners in the tank's central compartment, officials said Thursday. The valve replacement work is not expected to impact Atlantis' July 8 target launch date.

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Test checks Atlantis' tank, finds possible valve leak
Engineers pumped a half-million gallons of supercold rocket fuel into the shuttle Atlantis' external tank Wednesday to verify the integrity of structural stiffeners intended to prevent cracks during the countdown and climb to space July 8. During the operation, however, the launch team detected indications of a possible leak on engine No. 3's main fuel valve.
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PHOTOS: Atlantis poised for final space shuttle launch

Hours after Atlantis was parked at pad 39A, Spaceflight Now received rare access to the shuttle launch complex as the sun rose over the Atlantic Ocean. These spectacular photos show the spaceship from all angles as it's readied for the last space shuttle launch in July.

   IMAGES: SUN RISES ON SHUTTLE ATLANTIS
   IMAGES: VIEWS FROM LAUNCH PAD TOWER
   IMAGES: WALK AROUND THE SPACE SHUTTLE

Shuttle Endeavour comes home to enter retirement
Swooping out of the nighttime sky to enter homeport a final time, the shuttle Endeavour has safely completed her spaceflight career that covered 25 voyages to Earth orbit over 19 years, spanning 122,883,151 miles traveled, 4,677 revolutions of the planet and 299 days aloft.
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   IMAGES: SPACESHIP TOWED OFF THE RUNWAY
   IMAGES: SHUTTLE ROLLS TO A STOP
   IMAGES: ENDEAVOUR'S GHOSTLY HOMECOMING
   IMAGES: LANDING GROUND TRACKS
   MORNING STORY

   NASA TV SCHEDULE REV. M (.pdf download)
   STS-134 ARCHIVE
Final space shuttle moved to launch pad for July flight
While space shuttle Endeavour was completing her final orbits of the planet, sistership Atlantis traveled to Kennedy Space Center's launch pad 39A late Tuesday. Rollout got underway at about 8:42 p.m. and was completed at 3:29 a.m. EDT.
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   IMAGES: FINAL SHUTTLE EMERGES FROM VAB
   IMAGES: SHUTTLE BEGINS FINAL TREK TO PAD
   IMAGES: ATLANTIS AWAITS ROLLOUT
Atlantis attached to fuel tank and boosters
For the final time in space shuttle program history, an orbiter was hoisted from the floor of the Vehicle Assembly Building and bolted to an external tank and solid rocket boosters. Final mating was completed early Thursday.
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   IMAGES: ATLANTIS LIFTED FROM THE FLOOR
   IMAGES: SHUTTLE HANGING INSIDE VAB
   IMAGES: SLING ATTACHED TO ATLANTIS
Atlantis leaves her hangar
Tuesday was moving day for Atlantis as the space shuttle traveled from the Orbiter Processing Facility bay No. 1 to the Vehicle Assembly Building in preparation for the final space shuttle mission.
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   IMAGES: GROUND AND AERIAL ROLLOVER VIEWS
Federal budget pays for summer shuttle flight
The U.S. government budget approved last week all but validates NASA's hope to fly the shuttle Atlantis on a much-needed bonus mission as soon as June 28, according to agency officials.
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Booster stacking finished for final space shuttle flight

The past week saw the upper solid-fuel motor segments attached and the nose caps set in place atop the final space shuttle rocket boosters, completing the last buildup in the program's three-decade history.

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   HISTORY OF STS-135 BOOSTERS


Space shuttle retirement museums announced

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden unveiled which museums will house the retired space shuttle vehicles during a ceremony Tuesday on the 30th anniversary of the program's first launching. The future homes are: Discovery to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, Atlantis to the Kennedy Space Center, Endeavour to California Science Center in Los Angeles and Enterprise to the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City.

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   LIVE STREAMING VIDEO COVERAGE
   IMAGES: STS-1 ANNIVERSARY CEREMONY IN FLORIDA


Schedule mapped out to final space shuttle launch

The powerful booster rockets for the final space shuttle launch continue to be stacked segment-by-segment inside the Vehicle Assembly Building in preparation to propel Atlantis skyward this summer.

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Final shuttle crew checks out Atlantis and cargo

The space shuttle Atlantis astronauts visited Kennedy Space Center on Thursday and Friday for up-close and personal interaction with the orbiter and the payloads being readied for flight this summer.

   PHOTO GALLERY
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Stacking of final shuttle rocket boosters underway

The last-ever set of space shuttle solid-fuel rockets began taking shape Tuesday evening as technicians started stacking the boosters that will power Atlantis this summer.

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   MISSION FLIGHT PLAN


Final set of space shuttle main engines installed

Space shuttle ground technicians at the Kennedy Space Center have achieved yet another "final" milestone on the road to the program's looming retirement: installing the last set of main engines.

   PHOTO GALLERY


Decision on extra shuttle flight remains in limbo

Protecting their options while awaiting word on funding for a final shuttle mission next June, NASA managers believe flight processing probably can continue through the end of the year with the shuttle program's current budget or under a continuing resolution. But after that, sources say, additional money will be required or the hoped-for flight may not be possible.

   FULL STORY
   OUR SHUTTLE ARCHIVE
NASA considering June 2011 for final shuttle flight
Awaiting word on whether one additional shuttle flight will be approved by Congress and the Obama administration, NASA managers are protectively considering June 28, 2011, for launch of shuttle Atlantis on a rescue mission if a major problem threatens the crew of the final planned shuttle flight in late February. If not, and if NASA gets the required funding, the agency would launch Atlantis on an actual space station resupply mission to close out the shuttle program.
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Atlantis returns to Earth where it could stay forever

Space shuttle Atlantis safely returned to the homeport Wednesday after the final planned voyage in its quarter-century of spaceflight. The vehicle's rich history included 294 days in space, 4,648 orbits of the planet and 120 million miles traveled during 32 flights. Whether NASA gives Atlantis one more mission next year remains unknown, meaning this landing could have been the orbiter's last before retirement.

   FULL STORY
   MISSION STATUS CENTER - live updates and streaming video!
   IMAGES: ATLANTIS' ARRIVES HOME
   IMAGES: LANDING PHOTOS
   IMAGES: ATLANTIS TOWBACK
   MAPS: WEDNESDAY'S LANDING TRACKS
   NASA TV SCHEDULE REV. J (.pdf download)
   OUR MISSION ARCHIVE
   STORE: STS-132 PATCH (free U.S. shipping)
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VIDEO: ASTRONAUTS' POST-LANDING BRIEFING PLAY
VIDEO: NASA OFFICIALS HOLD NEWS CONFERENCE PLAY

VIDEO: LANDING REPLAYS: PILOT'S WINDOW PLAY
VIDEO: LANDING REPLAYS: INFRARED CAMERA PLAY
VIDEO: LANDING REPLAYS: RUNWAY NORTH PLAY
VIDEO: LANDING REPLAYS: RUNWAY SOUTH PLAY
VIDEO: LANDING REPLAYS: VAB ROOF PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LANDING REPLAYS: RUNWAY EAST PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LANDING REPLAYS: RUNWAY WEST PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LANDING REPLAYS: EDGE OF RUNWAY PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LANDING REPLAYS: RUNWAY MID-FIELD PLAY | HI-DEF
VIDEO: LANDING REPLAYS: KENNEDY TRACKER PLAY | HI-DEF
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Congress, White House mull extra space shuttle flight
A key NASA supporter in Congress is beginning a formal push for an extra space shuttle flight, as NASA officials prepare to present options to top Obama administration officials next month.
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Respecting Atlantis as the shuttle faces retirement

Whether it was launching satellites to orbit our planet and even other worlds, breathing new life into humanity's telescope, fostering international relationships or building a laboratory in the sky, the space shuttle Atlantis has been a workhorse for mankind over the past 25 years.

   FULL STORY
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MORE: STS-132 VIDEO COVERAGE
MORE: HIGH DEFINITION VIDEO COVERAGE
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Does shuttle Atlantis have one extra flight in her?
Could space shuttle Atlantis get a reprieve from retirement and fly again next year to truck a load of supplies to the International Space Station?
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Final Shuttle Mission Patch

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The crew emblem for the final space shuttle mission is now available in our store. Get this piece of history!
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STS-134 Patch

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The final planned flight of space shuttle Endeavour is symbolized in the official embroidered crew patch for STS-134. Available in our store!
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Ares 1-X Patch
The official embroidered patch for the Ares 1-X rocket test flight, is available for purchase.
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Apollo Collage
This beautiful one piece set features the Apollo program emblem surrounded by the individual mission logos.
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Project Orion
The Orion crew exploration vehicle is NASA's first new human spacecraft developed since the space shuttle a quarter-century earlier. The capsule is one of the key elements of returning astronauts to the Moon.
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Fallen Heroes Patch Collection
The official patches from Apollo 1, the shuttle Challenger and Columbia crews are available in the store.
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