Spaceship Atlantis ready for final journey
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The Space Shuttle Atlantis is geared up for its final mission. Six astronauts are set to rendezvous with the International Space Station to provide fresh batteries and extra room.
Atlantis first rocketed into space in 1985. This will be the Atlantis' 32nd trip, and the 132nd shuttle flight overall.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The shuttle is loaded with six fresh batteries for the station's power-generating system, as well as a Russian-built compartment for the space station, known as the Mini Research Module 1 or "Rassvet." The space station is already so crammed with supplies and food that crew members will have to wait until the Atlantis leaves before they can unpack anything. More than half a million gallons of fuel has been pumped into Atlantis' massive external tank well. The all-male crew downed a robust breakfast of steaks, French fires and cheeseburgers. The astronauts then rode to Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A and were strapped into their seats. The mission marks a milestone in U.S. space exploration. The 12-day mission is the last one for Atlantis, the fourth in NASA's line of space shuttles. Only two flights remain after this one, by Discovery and Endeavour. NASA hopes to end the 30-year program by the end of this year. Atlantis first rocketed into space in 1985. This will be the Atlantis' 32nd trip, and the 132nd shuttle flight overall. Among the crow to watch the final liftoff for the Atlantis space shuttle were late-night TV talk show host and comedian David Letterman, who toured the launch site Thursday. Dozens of Russians were expected, as well as about 150 Twittering guests. This is the second time NASA has opened the launch site to so-called tweeters. President Barack Obama has said that he wants NASA to focus on getting astronauts to an asteroid by 2025 and into orbit around Mars by 2035.
Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK
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