Last space shuttle crew practices for July launch

Jun 22, 2011 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer

(AP) -- The four astronauts who will bid goodbye to the space shuttle program are practicing for their July 8 launch.

Commander Christopher Ferguson and his crew met with journalists Wednesday morning at the . They will board Atlantis on Thursday for a mock countdown.

Astronaut Rex Walheim says he gets goosebumps, thinking that Atlantis will blast off one final time in just a couple more weeks. The mission is the last of NASA's 30-year shuttle program.

Atlantis got a new fuel valve this week. The old one showed a possible leak last week when the was filled to check for cracking. So far, the 50 reinforced brackets on the tank show no signs of cracks. The new valve, meanwhile, will be tested this weekend.

Explore further: Bright points in Sun's atmosphere mark patterns deep in its interior

3 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Image: Atlantis' final rollover

May 18, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Shuttle Atlantis makes its final planned move from Orbiter Processing Facility-1 to the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Atlantis countdown testing begins

Feb 21, 2007

The final countdown testing in preparation for the March 15 launch of space shuttle Atlantis began Wednesday at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Atlantis Countdown Proceeds

Dec 05, 2007

The launch team at NASA's Kennedy Space Center is continuing its steady march toward a lift off Thursday afternoon for space shuttle Atlantis. The countdown is proceeding smoothly, NASA Test Director Jeff ...

Space Shuttle Atlantis Arrives at Launch Pad

Nov 12, 2007

After safely reaching its launch pad Saturday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, the space shuttle Atlantis now awaits its next major milestone for the upcoming STS-122 mission. The full launch dress rehearsal is scheduled from ...

Recommended for you

Astronauts to reveal sobering data on asteroid impacts

19 hours ago

This Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, three former NASA astronauts will present new evidence that our planet has experienced many more large-scale asteroid impacts over the past decade than previously thought… ...

Rosetta instrument commissioning continues

19 hours ago

We're now in week four of six dedicated to commissioning Rosetta's science instruments after the long hibernation period, with the majority now having completed at least a first initial switch on.

Astronaut salary

20 hours ago

Talk about a high-flying career! Being a government astronaut means you have the chance to go into space and take part in some neat projects—such as going on spacewalks, moving robotic arms and doing science ...

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

Apr 16, 2014

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...

Hubble image: A cross-section of the universe

An image of a galaxy cluster taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope gives a remarkable cross-section of the Universe, showing objects at different distances and stages in cosmic history. They range ...

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...