Each of the 135 missions had its own crest and, at the completion of each mission, the crest was affixed in a ceremony to the wall of the Launch Control Firing Room from which the shuttle was launched in Florida, and on the Mission Control Center room in Houston from which the mission was controlled.
Archive for July, 2011
The control tower at Ellington Field is visible through a maze of tv cameras Friday afternoon, July 22, 2011, in Houston. The STS-135 astronauts have returned to their homes in Houston and are being welcomed by nearly a thousand people inside NASA Hangar 990.
This is the final event in STS-135 mission, and only one event remains in the 30-year history of the shuttle program — a celebration at Johnson Space Center in late August which will be August 20 or August 27, 2011.
Posted in atlantis, johnson space center, STS-135, tagged atlantis, ellington field, final celebration, hangar 990, houston, landing, sts-135, where will the shuttle atlantis go? on July 21, 2011| 1 Comment »
Thursday, 4 pm, July 21, 2011 The crew of STS-135 / Space Shuttle Atlantis successfully landed shortly before 6 am on their first orbit opportunity on July 21, 2011, on runway 15 in Florida.
After safeing the vehicle, a press conference was held on the runway, and then Atlantis was towed back to Orbiter Processing Facility #2 where a walk-around for NASA / Kennedy Space Center eomployees was held.
For many of these employees the landing was bittersweet. A large number will be laid off on Friday, July 22, 2011.
Following the employee ceremonies, Atlantis was returned to its hangar (OPF #2) and preparations to turn her over to the Kennedy Visitors Space Center sometime in 2012 will begin.
STS-135 was the last of 135 shuttle missions over the past 30 years.
NASA has no near term plans to fly manned missions again and has, in effect, ceded the American manned space program to the Russians and the Chinese.
On Friday, July 22, 2011 … the four Astronauts will fly to Houston in the morning and will attend a final public celebration of their successful mission in Hangar 990 at Ellington Field near the Johnson Space Center at 4 pm.
This gathering is open to the public. Doors open about 3:30 pm.
Posted in Uncategorized on July 21, 2011| Leave a Comment »
In the far distance at left, tiny, remote and now empty, Pad 39-A. It may be years before 39-A is used again, if ever, but in the Apollo and the Space Shuttle years, both now ended, it was a very active pad sending men to the Moon eight times and, with Pad 39-B, the shuttle into space 135 times.
It is dawn at the Cape. This photo was taken at the press site.
The shuttle had safely landed on runway 15 on the Shuttle Landing Facility a few minutes earlier on a near perfect mission.
American’s ability to put its own astronauts into space onto the International Space Station is ended. Now, and in the foreseeable future, the United States astronauts will ride into space on the Russian Soyuz. Cost of the ride to American taxpayers?
Sixty-five million-dollars, roundtrip.
Posted in atlantis, international space station, STS-135, tagged atlantis, california, edwards air force base, florida, kennedy space center, landing times, new mexico, space shuttle, sts-135, where does the shuttle land?, white sands on July 19, 2011| 2 Comments »
The Space Shuttle Atlantis will land during one of the times below, and in one of the listed locations, between Thursday July 21 and Saturday July 23, 2011. The shuttles energy reserves will be 14 hours (it’s ability to keep flying) after these landing times.Overnight, July 20-21, the shuttle undocked from the International Space Station (ISS), did a fly around the station before easing into an orbit that gradually, orbit by orbit, increased the distance between itself and the ISS. Atlantis is moving into a landing trajectory and then, about an hour before landing, will do a de-orbit burn to land at one of its three listed landing areas.
It is expected to land at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, the most preferred location of the three locations.
Tuesday afternoon, July 20, 2011, the weather looked favorable for the shuttle to successfully land in Florida on its first of two Florida opportunities. The shuttle would be landing at dawn on Thursday morning, July 22, 2011
The landing opportunites and locations are as follows:
KSC orbit 200 – 5:56 am EDT
KSC orbit 201 – 7:32 am EDT
KSC orbit 215 – 4:56 am EDT
KSC orbit 216 – 6:31 am EDT
EDW orbit 217 – 8:02 am EDT
NOR orbit 217 – 8:04 am EDT
EDW orbit 218 – 9:38 am EDT
NOR orbit 218 – 9:40 am EDT
EDW orbit 219 – 11:15 am EDT
KSC orbit 231 – 5:30 am EDT
KSC orbit 232 – 7:06 am EDT
NOR orbit 232 – 7:03 am EDT
EDW orbit 233 – 8:37 am EDT
NOR orbit 233 – 8:39 am EDT
EDW orbit 234 – 10:13 am EDT
KSC orbit 236 (descending) – 1:36 pm EDT
NASA / Johnson Space Center / July 19, 2011
NASA / KSC confirms times; NOR not listed as alternative / July 20, 2011
Posted in Uncategorized on July 18, 2011| Leave a Comment »
If the shuttle does land on time shortly before 6 am, Thursday, July 21, 2011, the ISS will be passing 235 miles above Atlantis as she turns toward the runway. If, as is possible, both the shuttle and the ISS are visible, they may well appear for a few moments that morning to be traveling together. And then the ISS will fly on — to 2020 or perhaps 2028 or longer.
And Atlantis will land, never to fly again.