Image: Launching the Galileo mission

Space Shuttle Atlantis deployed the Galileo spacecraft six hours, 30 minutes into the flight on Oct. 18, 1989. In this image, Galileo, mounted atop the inertial upper stage, is tilted to a 58-degree deployment position in ...

Image: European Columbus module packed up and loaded for transport

The European Columbus module is packed up and loaded for transport to the US in this image from 2006. Built in Turin, Italy, and Bremen, Germany, the completed module was shipped to NASA's facilities in Cape Canaveral, Florida ...

Jeff Williams new NASA record holder for cumulative days in space

Station Commander Jeff Williams passed astronaut Scott Kelly, also a former station commander, for most cumulative days living and working in space by a NASA astronaut (520 days and counting). Williams is scheduled to land ...

Mice flown in space show nascent liver damage, researcher says

In a discovery with implications for long-term spaceflight and future missions to Mars, a researcher at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus has found that mice flown aboard the space shuttle Atlantis returned ...

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Atlantis

Atlantis (in Greek, Ἀτλαντίς, "daughter of Atlas") is a legendary island first mentioned in Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias.

In Plato's account, Atlantis was a naval power lying "in front of the Pillars of Hercules" that conquered many parts of Western Europe and Africa 9,000 years before the time of Solon, or approximately 9600 BC. After a failed attempt to invade Athens, Atlantis sank into the ocean "in a single day and night of misfortune".

Scholars dispute whether and how much Plato's story or account was inspired by older traditions. Some scholars argue Plato drew upon memories of past events such as the Thera eruption or the Trojan War, while others insist that he took inspiration from contemporary events like the destruction of Helike in 373 BC or the failed Athenian invasion of Sicily in 415–413 BC.

The possible existence of a genuine Atlantis was actively discussed throughout classical antiquity, but it was usually rejected and occasionally parodied by later authors. As Alan Cameron states: "It is only in modern times that people have taken the Atlantis story seriously; no one did so in antiquity". While little known during the Middle Ages, the story of Atlantis was rediscovered by Humanists in the Early Modern period. Plato's description inspired the utopian works of several Renaissance writers, like Francis Bacon's "New Atlantis". Atlantis inspires today's literature, from science fiction to comic books to films, its name having become a byword for any and all supposed advanced prehistoric lost civilizations.

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