Space shuttle Atlantis, which only five months ago flew the final mission of NASA's 30-year shuttle program, is now being prepared for its public display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. That means, sadly, that Atlantis is scheduled to be powered down for the very last time this week. Its insides are being shamelessly pulled out to ensure it's safe for exhibit--it's important to lighten the shuttle's weight, since it'll be displayed on a steep angle at Kennedy.
collectSPACE.com had the rare opportunity recently to tour Atlantis and photograph its preparation for display. This is one of the last times anyone will be able to capture Atlantis's glass cockpit all lit up like this--and you're privy to the pictures.
Alright, alright, one more farewell post for Atlantis just because this image is so very amazing. Captured by the crew aboard the International Space Station, the image shows Atlantis’s glowing hot re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere and the plasma trail it left behind.
Well kids, it’s finally over. This morning, just shy of 6 a.m. EDT, the space shuttle Atlantis came to a wheels stop at Kennedy Space Center, ending NASA’s Space Shuttle era and effectively capping America’s Human Spaceflight program--at least for the time being.
One of the most spectacular ways to watch a Shuttle launch (if you're not there in person) is from the video cameras mounted on the booster rockets as it goes up, and then as they fall off and splash down. NASA has just released the footage from the final Shuttle launch ever. Watch it below.
Casting aside a week of ominous weather, space shuttle Atlantis successfully lifted off at 11:29 AM EST today from Kennedy Space Center. A brief pause in the countdown at :31 seconds to confirm retraction of the external fuel tank's Gaseous Oxygen Vent Arm, or "Beanie Cap," was the only hiccup in what so far appears to have been a flawless launch. It was probably the most awesome thing--as in, literally full of awe--that I've seen in my life.
Morning everybody. That's the view from the press viewing mound as of around 6:45 AM EST this morning. The weather is actually somewhat pleasant, with streaks of sun passing through the cloud cover. But the chance of favorable launch conditions is still a scant 30 percent. We're a little less than four hours from the planned launch as of this update--you can follow along here with the NASA TV broadcast, as well as updates from us here and on Twitter.
It's been a damp day here at Kennedy Space Center. As you may have seen on Twitter, we're here to witness the final launch of Atlantis--the last hurrah for the space shuttle.
The rain has been on and off all afternoon, but the drizzle did not stop us from heading out to the pad for a final farewell to Atlantis before launch, which as of this writing is still scheduled for 11:26 AM EST tomorrow.
The next and final space shuttle launch is slated for tomorrow, with the shuttle Atlantis taking a crew of four to the space station for a 12-day stay. But with Discovery and Endeavour already in the process of being decommissioned (that is, stripped down in hanger bays), what happens if something goes awry up there with no backup shuttle ready to execute a speedy rescue?
All the news about devastating tsunamis is drawing greater attention to a new claim that researchers have found the lost city of Atlantis — buried in mud on the southern tip of Spain. Scientists say they have found proof of a 4,000-year-old civilization that was buried by a tsunami.