July 21, 2011

Atlantis Completes Final Mission of Shuttle Program

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., July 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Space Shuttle Atlantis successfully touched down at the Kennedy Space Center today, marking the end of the final Space Shuttle mission of the program.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080407/LAM060LOGO)

The orbiter was greeted on the runway by a team of United Space Alliance (USA) employees who immediately set about safing the vehicle and preparing it for its trip back to the orbiter processing facility.

"For the past 15 years, the USA team has been responsible for processing and maintaining this remarkable fleet of orbiters," said Virginia Barnes, USA President and Chief Executive Officer. "Their skill, dedication and commitment to the highest standards of performance have helped to make this nation the leader in human spaceflight."

USA, which has served as the NASA prime Space Shuttle contractor since 1996, has had primary responsibility for processing and executing 56 Shuttle missions, and has been responsible for planning, training and operations support for 81 human space flight missions, including 28 International Space Station increments. The company will continue to support ISS operations, and is lending its expertise to the design and development of the next generation of human space flight vehicles, including the Orion crew vehicle being developed by Lockheed Martin.

"The success of this mission, as well as the final missions of Endeavour and Discovery, demonstrate the dedication, pride and high character of everyone associated with the Space Shuttle Program," Barnes said. "Their focus and commitment to safely and successfully finish this program shows what a valuable national asset this team has been."

About United Space Alliance:

United Space Alliance is a world leader in space operations with extensive experience in all aspects of the field. Headquartered in Houston, USA has employees working in Texas, Florida and Alabama. Currently, USA is applying its broad range of capabilities to NASA's Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs as well as to space operations customers in the commercial and international space industry sectors.

SOURCE United Space Alliance