Shuttle Atlantis reaches orbit for final time –

Atlantis and its four-person crew are embarking on a 12-day mission to the International Space Station.

The on-time liftoff at 11:26 a.m. thrilled a crowd of an estimated 1 million people who packed viewing sites along the Florida coast for one last look at a spaceship that captured the imagination and attention of fans around the world.

“And Fergie, for the final time … good luck, Godspeed and have a little fun up there,” Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach radioed up to Atlantis Commander Chris Ferguson, giving him the “go” for launch.

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The orbiter roared off the pad, leaving behind a plume that hung majestically in the air. The crowds at the KSC press site cheered.

The mission is the 33rd for Atlantis which first flew on Oct. 3, 1985, on a Department of Defense flight.

Questionable weather put the launch in doubt until less than an hour before the planned liftoff. A blanket of heavy, gray clouds shrouded the launch pad for most of the morning, but cleared in enough time for officials to clear the launch.

Atlantis is hauling a module packed with nearly 10,000 pounds of supplies — about a third of it food — and equipment that should keep the International Space Station stocked through next year.

End of an era(AT)

Because of the vast expense necessary to maintain and fly the shuttle fleet it was decided the craft had outlived its usefulness and it was brought to an end in a decision that will be debated in space circles for decades to come.

One of the points of contention is the shuttle should have been flown until a successor was in place to both guarantee the nation’s leadership position in space and human access to space not to mention thousands of jobs that were lost at KSC.

With the International Space Station having years remaining in its lifetime, U.S. astronauts will reach the outpost on Russian Soyuz rockets at least through 2016.

Atlantis and its crew are scheduled to dock with the station about 11 a.m. on Sunday to carry out its resupply mission. Undocking is scheduled for about 2 a.m. on July 18 and landing July 20 at KSC where the shuttle program will officially end with the call of wheel stop.

After retirement, Atlantis is destined for its new home in a $20 million building at the KSC Visitor Complex.

via Shuttle Atlantis reaches orbit for final time –

About Saleem Mohammed
PROFESSIONAL PROFILE: I have substantial experience in Healthcare Marketing and PR, Human Resources Management, Medical Staffing, Outsourcing & Backroom Office Establishment and Management, Healthcare Account Management, and Multimedia Marketing. My recruitment experience covers nurses, therapists and other allied healthcare workers that are sourced all over US and overseas. As BDO, I brought a start-up company to its highest revenue mark, expanded its menu of services, designed & streamlined HR procedures and built effective cost-cutting measures. SPECIALTIES include, but is not limited to: Healthcare Marketing, Human Resources Management, Medical Staffing, Staffing Coordinator, Healthcare Recruitment, Account Management, Business Development, Healthcare Sales and Pricing Strategy, HR Training & Development, Career Coaching

One Response to Shuttle Atlantis reaches orbit for final time –

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