: International News
NASA sets farewell shuttle launch July 8
Washington, June 29, 2011
NASA officials voted unanimously to
set space shuttle Atlantis' launch date as July 8 after a
day-long flight readiness review at the Kennedy space centre
Atlantis' 12-day mission to the International Space Station is
the final flight of the 30-year Space Shuttle Programme.
"Atlantis is in great shape out at the pad," said Mike
Leinbach, shuttle launch director, Tuesday. "Team Atlantis is
feeling good about the flow and the launch countdown and hope
we'll be able to get her off the ground Friday (July) the 8th
Atlantis will carry the Raffaello multipurpose logistics
module containing a year's worth of supplies and spare parts
for the orbital station and its crew.
Once the shuttle fleet is retired, Russian Soyuz and Progress
spacecraft will take the bulk of crew rotation and cargo
missions to the ISS until at least the middle of the decade.
NASA is paying its Russian counterpart Roscosmos more than $1
billion for crew transport services over the next four years.
The retired four shuttle orbiters will be displayed
permanently at various scientific institutions across the US.
Atlantis will be on display at the Kennedy space centre.