Last 4 shuttle astronauts arrive for countdown

Jul 04, 2011 By MARCIA DUNN , AP Aerospace Writer

(AP) -- The four astronauts who will close out NASA's space shuttle program are at their Florida launch site, eager for a Friday takeoff.

Commander Christopher Ferguson and his crew flew into from Houston on Monday, the Fourth of July. NASA staff handed them small U.S. flags, as their launch director greeted them out on the runway.

The four will take Atlantis on the last flight of NASA's 30-year shuttle program. Atlantis will make a supply run to the , before joining Discovery and Endeavour in retirement.

Ferguson says it will be a busy 12-day flight. But when it's over, he says the astronauts will be "very proud to put the right-hand bookend on the ."

Explore further: NASA issues 'remastered' view of Jupiter's moon Europa

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Shuttle 'Go' for Dec. 6 Launch

Dec 04, 2007

Space shuttle Atlantis is set to begin its launch countdown for the STS-122 mission with a flurry of activities at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Atlantis is scheduled to launch at 4:31 p.m. EST on ...

NASA Updates Shuttle Target Launch Date for Hubble Mission

Jun 07, 2007

NASA managers officially are targeting Sept. 10, 2008, for the launch of the fifth and final space shuttle servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. During the 11-day flight, Atlantis' seven astronauts will repair ...

Image: Inspecting Raffaello

Apr 26, 2011

In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the STS-135 crew inspects the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module with the carrier's technician.

Recommended for you

NASA issues 'remastered' view of Jupiter's moon Europa

Nov 21, 2014

(Phys.org) —Scientists have produced a new version of what is perhaps NASA's best view of Jupiter's ice-covered moon, Europa. The mosaic of color images was obtained in the late 1990s by NASA's Galileo ...

European space plane set for February launch

Nov 21, 2014

Europe's first-ever "space plane" will be launched on February 11 next year, rocket firm Arianespace said Friday after a three-month delay to fine-tune the mission flight plan.

Space station rarity: Two women on long-term crew

Nov 21, 2014

For the 21st-century spacewoman, gender is a subject often best ignored. After years of training for their first space mission, the last thing Samantha Cristoforetti and Elana Serova want to dwell on is the ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

freethinking
1 / 5 (2) Jul 05, 2011
How sad it is that the USA can no longer put a man into space.

ChiefOfGxBxL
not rated yet Jul 07, 2011
How sad it is that the USA can no longer put a man into space.

Not true-- the US will always have the power to put a man into space, it's just that we won't temporarily. NASA is looking into cheaper, more reliable vehicles to transport crews into space, such as the Falcon 9 rocket by SpaceX, an all-American private company. This rocket can hold 7 people, and the last time NASA ever launched 7 people at one time was on Challenger. NASA needs to give up its bulky space shuttles to move onto something new. These new rockets will be much cheaper, allowing even more launches by NASA; they plan on using them by 2015.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.