Posted by Lydia on July 6th, 2011
Update: “You are clear to launch Atlantis.” Atlantis is go for launch!
There are close to 750 thousand Earthlings present at the Kennedy Space Center viewing areas to observe this historical launch. (Usually the area is invaded by a mere 150-250 thousand tourists.) Launch Day! As NASA’s Mission Control comments: “Launch chances are always 50/50 due to weather and other potential issues which may occur during countdown. The crew is seated and ready to contribute their part to the Shuttle’s final mission taking Atlantis passed it’s already accrued 115 million miles, on its 33rd flight to the ISS. The next possible launch date, should Atlantis not launch this weekend, is July 16, 2011.”
Atlantis- STS 135 scheduled for Friday, 8 July, 2011 11:26 a.m. EDT is the final Shuttle mission to the International Space Station transporting the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module in addition to necessary supplies and logistics. Atlantis will return carrying a failed ammonia pump module on its twelve day excursion. Atlantis also will transport “a system to investigate the potential for robotically refuelling existing spacecraft”. Mission Control is monitoring a potential weather threat located in the Caribbean, expected to bring high winds and rain to the launch area. In preparation for the launch Commander Chris Ferguson and Pilot Doug Hurley continue to perform touch and go landings at Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility. Atlantis’s crew of four also include Mission Specialists Rex Walheim, and Sandy Magnus.