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Special Space Shuttle Awesomeness Round-Up

  • By Faith Tucker
  • July 8, 2011
  • Comments Off on Special Space Shuttle Awesomeness Round-Up

The time has come to say goodbye to Space Shuttle. The program has faithfully served NASA, our country and the international community for 30 long years, and now it’s time for an era to come to a close. The final Shuttle launch occurred mere minutes ago, down at Kennedy Space Center.

In honor of this historic and bittersweet event, we’ve compiled a special Awesomeness Round-Up all about the Space Shuttle. And stay tuned in the coming days as I (Faith) traveled down to Florida – along with over 1 million other space enthusiasts – to view the launch!

Atlantis STS-135 Rollout (201105310020HQ)

STS-135 crew members Chris Ferguson, left, Douglas Hurley, second from left, Sandra Magnus, and Rex Walheim, right, pose for a group photograph atop of the Mobile Launch Platform (MLP) as the space shuttle Atlantis (STS-135) rolls out of High Bay 3 in the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39a for its final flight, Tuesday evening, May 31, 2011, at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The 3.4-mile trek, known as “rollout,” will take about seven hours to complete. Atlantis will carry the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module to deliver supplies, logistics and spare parts to the International Space Station. The launch of STS-135 is targeted for July 8. Caption Credit: NASA, Photo Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

NASA recently released this feature-length documentary about the history of the Space Shuttle, narrated by the one and only William Shatner. The Space Shuttle has a rich, dynamic and exciting 30-year history, and with the final mission about to launch it is good to remember all of the people, hard work and milestones that have made the Shuttle program was it is today.

Check out this great animation showing what STS-135 will be doing once it is in orbit and the spacewalks (or ExtraVehicular Activities) the crew will be performing.

Goddard may not be focused on manned spaceflight work, but we did get to contribute to the mission by developing the Robotic Refueling Mission. Learn more about the project from Geeked On Goddard’s great post.

The crew arrives at Kennedy Space Center for the final stages of their training days before launch. I can’t imagine what it must feel like looking forward to launching into space in a matter of days, nor what it’s like to arrive to work flying a T-38…

The ranks of those who can say they have traveled in space is an elite group, to be sure, but the STS-135 crew carries with it the distinct honor and burden of participating in the final bookend to the Shuttle era. Listen in as they discuss their feelings about being part of the final Shuttle mission.

Although the Shuttle program is coming to a close, that by no means that NASA will cease to exist! There are great things ahead for NASA in both the manned spaceflight and science areas. After all, proverbial wisdom tells us that the end of one story is also the beginning of another. Hear what NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden has to say about the Shuttle’s last flight and the future of NASA.

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