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: Lunar explorers will walk at higher speeds than thought

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

Lunar explorers will walk at higher speeds than thought

5 hours ago

Anyone who has seen the movies of Neil Armstrong's first bounding steps on the moon couldn't fail to be intrigued by his unusual walking style. But, contrary to popular belief, the astronaut's peculiar walk ...

Space: The final frontier... open to the public

6 hours ago

Historically, spaceflight has been reserved for the very healthy. Astronauts are selected for their ability to meet the highest physical and psychological standards to prepare them for any unknown challenges. However, with ...

NASA releases IRIS footage of X-class flare (w/ Video)

6 hours ago

On Sept. 10, 2014, NASA's newest solar observatory, the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, mission joined other telescopes to witness an X-class flare – an example of one of the strongest solar flares—on ...

NASA's Maven spacecraft reaches Mars this weekend

7 hours ago

Mars, get ready for another visitor or two. This weekend, NASA's Maven spacecraft will reach the red planet following a 10-month journey spanning 442 million miles (711 million kilometers).

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.