Space Shuttle Endeavour Lands, Atlantis Steps Up to the Plate for Final Flight
June 1, 2011 11:32 AM
comment(s) - last by
Space shuttle Endeavour landing
Atlantis to embark on its final flight July 8
is in the midst of retiring its space shuttle fleet, and of the three remaining operational orbiters, two have
and the last is ready for its final mission.
In February of this year, NASA sent
space shuttle Discovery
on its final flight before retirement. Discovery was first launched in 1984, and embarked on its 39th and final flight on February 24. It was one of the remaining three operational orbiters in NASA's space shuttle fleet; the other two are space shuttle's Endeavour and Atlantis.
Space shuttle Endeavour, which made its first flight in 1992, was due to embark on its final launch on April 29 last month, but had to reschedule due to a broken set of heaters. Endeavour finally made its
last flight on May 16
, which was its 25th mission. The mission was completed this morning when Endeavour landed safely at the Kennedy Space Center at 2:35 a.m.
"It's great to be back here at the Kennedy Space Center," said Mark Kelly, mission commander. "It's great to bring Endeavour back in great shape. Looks like it's ready to go do another mission. But this is going to be the last flight."
Endeavour's 16-day mission was scheduled to retrieve old experiments, put new ones in place, lubricate parts and refill tanks at the
International Space Station
. In addition to Cmdr. Mark Kelly, the crew consisted of pilot Gregory H. Johnson, mission specialists Michael Fincke, Andrew Feustel and Greg Chamitoff, and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori.
Kelly's wife, U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who suffered a gunshot wound to the head in the Tuscon, Arizona mass shooting earlier this year, was unable to attend the Endeavour's landing due to a recent surgery to replace a piece of her skull. There is a 14-day time frame after surgery where the risk of infection is at its highest point.
While in space, Endeavour's crew wore blue rubber bracelets that said "Peace, Love, Gabby" in honor of Giffords.
The landing marked a joyous and emotional event for the crew as they performed the tradition of inspecting the spaceship on Runway 15 at the Kennedy Space Center.
"It's sad to see her land for the last time, but she really had a great legacy," said Kelly. "It is really, really an incredible ship."
Two down, one to go. Now that Discovery and Endeavour
, Atlantis is the last to fly, and is all ready to go. Atlantis arrived at its Kennedy Space Center launch pad less than an hour after Endeavour landed. The scheduled final flight for Atlantis is July 8.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
6/1/2011 2:18:24 PM
Sure. Its just in architectural plans since the physical thing was scrapped per order of Bill Clinton.
We had a replacement space shuttle in the late 90s. We just had problems with the fuel tanks holding pressure due to our infant knowledge of carbon fiber at the time. So it was ordered cancelled and the prototypes that were already built were scrapped.
"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard
NASA Bids Farewell to Mars Rover "Spirit"
May 25, 2011, 12:50 PM
Space Shuttle Endeavour Blasts Off for Final Mission
May 16, 2011, 8:48 AM
NASA Administrator Announces Mars Mission; Stresses Importance of ISS
April 8, 2011, 7:30 AM
Space Shuttle Discovery Embarks on Last Flight Today
February 24, 2011, 12:09 PM
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information