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 6:07:40 PM
I agree with what you said except the part about the Asteroid Belt, that is actually farther than Mars since it lies between Mars and Jupiter. The distance may be about the same though when Mars is on the opposite side of the sun from Earth.
One of the next steps to me would be to build a Babylon 5 type space station. Place it at one of the LaGrange points and use it for deep space studies. Of course something that big would take decades to build, but if it was done by commercial interest or a mix of government and commercial interests it could probably be done. Yea I have been watching too many reruns lately lol.
"It seems as though my state-funded math degree has failed me. Let the lashings commence." -- DailyTech Editor-in-Chief Kristopher Kubicki
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
Smartphone STD Scanner Dongle Can Detect HIV in Just 15 Minutes
February 26, 2015, 11:04 AM
Bill Gates Plugs GMOs to Reduce Starvation in Africa
February 24, 2015, 10:12 PM
Cool Nature Video: Crazy Coconut Octopus Braves Dry Land to Capture Crab
February 24, 2015, 4:18 PM
MIT Creates Injectable Self-Healing Nanoparticle Hydrogel for Cancer Treatment
February 23, 2015, 9:37 AM
Amp EVs' Workhorse and HorseFly Duo Challenge Amazon to Delivery Drone Duel
February 20, 2015, 3:56 AM
DARPA Awards Boeing Contract to Test Jet Based Satellite Launches
February 19, 2015, 11:30 AM
Most Popular Articles
Modern Glass (Windows 7 Aero Glass + Modern UI) Style is Coming to Windows 10
February 19, 2015, 1:05 PM
Amid Tight Race w/ Evernote, Microsoft's OneNote Goes (Even More) Free, Adds Fresh Features
February 23, 2015, 11:15 AM
Quick Note: Microsoft Gives Dropbox Users Extra 100 GB of Free OneDrive Storage
February 20, 2015, 9:48 AM
EDITORIAL: Board Wants to Anoint America World Police w/ Global Warrant Power
February 20, 2015, 9:10 AM
NVIDIA Bows to Outraged Overclockers, Will Restore Feature in Upcoming Driver
February 23, 2015, 12:30 PM
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 2015 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information