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Space Shuttle Atlantis Launches On Final Flight 275

Space Shuttle Atlantis has just launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. STS-135 marks the final flight for the shuttle program, 30 years after Columbia touched the sky during STS-1. The mission summary (PDF) outlines STS-135's crew and event timeline. NASA's launch blog has been following the countdown all morning, and our own CmdrTaco has been tweeting live from on-site. NASA TV is also being streamed live. Meteorological reports for the launch looked doubtful at first, but a gap in the bad weather at just the right time allowed everything to proceed as planned. Atlantis successfully reached its preliminary orbit in what a NASA official called a "flawless" launch.
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Space Shuttle Atlantis Launches On Final Flight

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  • by kalpol ( 714519 ) on Friday July 08, 2011 @11:49AM (#36695528) Homepage

    Noticed there was a long delay, but I have no speakers at work, so couldn't hear an explanation.


    Sounded like they said the sensor noting retraction of the cone dome thing wasn't working so they had to verify visually (that was the camera 62 shot).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 08, 2011 @03:43PM (#36698808)

    a new one will take some time to get up and going.

    That was a well known issue and the plan was to have something new before shuttle retirement. Too bad all the attempts at something new were never followed through on.

    more like defunded by Republicans.

    Eisenhower (R): Skeptical of manned flight but in favor of satellites. Created NASA. Wanted to avoid space race and the bureaucracy that would follow.
    Kennedy (D): ***Opposed*** Apollo as a senator, poised to dismantle Apollo early in his presidency. Vice President Johnson got him to postpone any decision and Yuri Gagarin's flight got JFK to reverse course and support Apollo.
    Johnson (D): Believed in the space program but cut NASA, in part to fund his social programs and Vietnam.
    Nixon (R): NASA funding declined, some Apollo missions canceled, Nixon did not like the moon base and mars landing plans. However he did like and approve the Space Shuttle. He also approved joint missions with the Soviet Union.
    Ford (R): Minor NASA funding increase.
    Carter (D): Did not like Apollo-style programs, only approved of limited short range goals.
    Reagan (R): Sought to increase NASA funding by 30%.
    Bush Sr (R): Sought to increase NASA funding by 20%.
    Clinton (D): In favor of manned and unmanned missions.
    Bush Jr (R): Big fan of space exploration, manned and robotic. Proposed return to moon, landing on Mars. Various rocket and capsule programs were approved.
    Obama (D): Canceled programs, rejected return to moon. Funded a new heavy lift rocket. []

Ya'll hear about the geometer who went to the beach to catch some rays and became a tangent ?