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Shuttle launches in historic final flight

Posted on Friday, 8 July, 2011 | Comment icon 21 comments

Image credit: NASA

Space shuttle Atlantis has launched successfully from Cape Canaveral for the very last time.

The weather had made a launch look unlikely however remained clear enough for things to go ahead. The shuttle will ferry 3.5 tonnes of supplies to the International Space Station on a mission that will last 12 days and mark the end of the space shuttle program that has lasted over 30 years. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden remained optimistic about the future however - "The future of human spaceflight is bright," he said. "You'll hear me say that over and over and over again, so you need to print it."

"The 135th and final space shuttle mission has lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida."

  View: Full article |  Source: BBC News

  Discuss: View comments (21)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #12 Posted by Esoteric Toad on 9 July, 2011, 2:12
Just think of it this way, the president wants a whole new generation to experience the feeling of 1961 again. What a visionary
Comment icon #13 Posted by Alex01 on 9 July, 2011, 7:03
Oh lord, I couldn't help but to smirk a tear. There is a lot gone into that wonderful and gorgeous machine. Shuttle will fly in all of our hearts.
Comment icon #14 Posted by The Silver Thong on 9 July, 2011, 17:39
Hi ya Mid. Ya the space race did end as soon as the US landed a man on the moon but there was always more compitition to be had. To bad the last 9 years have been wasted on war and not working on the next generation of space craft. Will a new president do anything to revive NASA?
Comment icon #15 Posted by ROGER on 9 July, 2011, 18:49
Politics aside we are still fighting the biggest problem of all. Our planets gravity. I have no idea what we could use but another , cheaper way of getting material to Low Earth Orbit would really kick start the Explorer dream many of us have. In my opinion Moon base mining for resources or even asteroid mining for water , fuel, and air will get us to the edges of our solar system. But these are a long time off as of right now because we cant get the tools to do it up there.
Comment icon #16 Posted by MID on 9 July, 2011, 19:24
Silver-- I think a new President could do a great deal to revive NASA...spiritually, that is! They need a concrete direction, and a mandate, supported by a Congress who understands the value of space exploration. Many need a job. This cycle of a new President, a mandate, a great Administrator who turns everything around, then another President, another Administrator who toes the new line, many jobs lost, no real future mandate and direction, and plans that change, and no one knows what they're going to be working in another year, if anything, has got to stop.
Comment icon #17 Posted by MID on 9 July, 2011, 19:26
I think you have it ROG. We need the lift, and we need the craft.
Comment icon #18 Posted by DONTEATUS on 15 July, 2011, 13:32
Let me rub my two magic coins together ! ()()()()() Poof ! Now we are talking ! Maybe a few trillion dollars will help out the NASA short fall? Bring back a few Hundred thousand troops from a mindless war you say? Start spending the money on the needs of the Planet,people,growth,health you say? Sounds impossible you say ! Its not actually,ITs all in the way that all the people vote and demand of our elected officials that gets things done. THe excuse comes from a number of people on this rock that have the key to the bank. Greed is the overpowering game plan here. NASA really d... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by Xpeople on 21 July, 2011, 1:08
What is sad about this is that NASA is going to retire the best spacecraft ever built and nothing to replace it with?
Comment icon #20 Posted by MID on 21 July, 2011, 23:01
This was not a sad day. This was a day for celebration, and by God we did somepartying today! Some of the greatest people anywhere were honored, awarded, and fed well! Not to say there weren't some tears...but over all, they were tears of joy at an astounding accomplishment. What's on the boards are several private spacecraft being developed for LEO applications, and NASA will be working Orion and Heavy Lift vehicle plans for exploration missions. i know it's been a lot to follow with all the administration vascillating, but there are concrete things in work.

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