Space Shuttle Atlantis Lands Safely – Shuttle Program Ends
Space Shuttle Atlantis has landed safely at Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the darkness just before dawn. The arrival marks the end of STS-135 and the United States' Space Shuttle program. The mission to the International Space Station (ISS) lasted thirteen days for the Atlantis orbiter and her crew of four. The spacecraft touched down 21 July 2011 at approximately 5:57 a.m. (ET) with her wheels stopping by about 5:58 a.m. (ET)
Flying Atlantis on this historic mission were Shuttle Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim. The focus of STS-135 was to deliver supplies to the ISS that will help sustain its operation in the post-shuttle era. There is no spacecraft, manned or unmanned, currently available that can lift the payloads of a Space Shuttle.
Other post final Space Shuttle flight events:
7:45 a.m. (ET)
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and STS-135
Commander Chris Ferguson will make comments at the shuttle runway.
The remarks will be broadcast live on NASA Television (click to view).
10:00 a.m. (ET)
NASA officials will hold a briefing at Kennedy's press
site to discuss Atlantis' STS-135 mission. The event will be
broadcast live on NASA Television (click to view)
The participants will be:
- Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations,
- Bob Cabana, director, Kennedy Space Center
- Mike Moses, space shuttle launch integration manager
- Mike Leinbach, space shuttle launch director
11:45 a.m. (ET)
Bolden and Cabana will host an employee appreciation
event outside Orbiter Processing Facility-2 (OPF-2). The event will be broadcast live on NASA TV (click to view)
12:00 p.m. (ET)
The STS-135 crew is expected to participate in a post-landing news
conference. Immediately after a 20 minute media
question-and-answer session, the astronauts will go to the employee
appreciation event to talk briefly to the work force. The events will
be broadcast live on NASA TV (click to view).