July 8, 2011
One Last Blast For Atlantis
Space shuttle Atlantis successfully launched aboard NASA's final mission for the shuttle program on Friday.
Atlantis traveled 6500 miles per hour once its kicked off its afterburners heading towards the International Space Station (ISS) for the last time.
The space shuttle has spent 293 days in space and carried 191 crews since it flew on its first mission in October 1985.
The shuttle has traveled 120,650,907 miles and is the only orbiter that cannot draw power from the ISS.
The 135th and final mission for the shuttle program will be a 12-day mission with the goal of delivering supplies and spare parts to the ISS. Part of the payload includes the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module.
Atlantis' final crew includes Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim.
Reports said that between 500,000 and 1 million people gathered in the area to witness the final space shuttle launch.
As Atlantis ushers out the 30-year-old space program, the shuttles will find their final resting grounds in museums across the U.S. once the last mission is complete.
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