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: SpaceX launches supplies to space station (Update)

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's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

1 hour ago

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Sun emits a mid-level solar flare

Apr 18, 2014

The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 9:03 a.m. EDT on April 18, 2014, and NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured images of the event. Solar flares are powerful bursts of radiation. Harmful ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...

The importance of plumes

Apr 18, 2014

The Hubble Space Telescope is famous for finding black holes. It can pick out thousands of galaxies in a patch of sky the size of a thumbprint. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Hubble provided ...

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.

More news stories

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

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 ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.