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NASA sets launch date for final space shuttle mission

Atlantis will deliver the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module filled with supplies and spare parts to sustain space station operations.
Space shuttle Atlantis' Commander Chris Ferguson and his three crewmates are scheduled to begin a 12-day mission to the International Space Station with a launch July 8 at 11:26 a.m. EDT from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-135 mission is the final flight of the Space Shuttle Program.

The launch date was announced June 28 at the conclusion of a flight readiness review at Kennedy. During the meeting, senior NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the shuttle and station's equipment, support systems, and personnel are ready.

Atlantis' STS-135 mission will deliver the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module filled with supplies and spare parts to sustain space station operations after the shuttles are retired.

The mission also will fly the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM), an experiment designed to demonstrate and test tools, technologies, and techniques needed to robotically refuel satellites in space — even satellites not designed to be serviced. The crew also will return an ammonia pump that recently failed on the station. Engineers want to understand why the pump failed and improve designs for future spacecraft.

STS-135 flight readiness
Managers give Atlantis a "go" for launch during the conclusion of the STS-135 Flight Readiness Review at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA
Space shuttle Atlantis' Commander Chris Ferguson and his three crewmates are scheduled to begin a 12-day mission to the International Space Station with a launch July 8 at 11:26 a.m. EDT from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-135 mission is the final flight of the Space Shuttle Program.

The launch date was announced June 28 at the conclusion of a flight readiness review at Kennedy. During the meeting, senior NASA and contractor managers assessed the risks associated with the mission and determined the shuttle and station's equipment, support systems, and personnel are ready.

Atlantis' STS-135 mission will deliver the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module filled with supplies and spare parts to sustain space station operations after the shuttles are retired.

The mission also will fly the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM), an experiment designed to demonstrate and test tools, technologies, and techniques needed to robotically refuel satellites in space — even satellites not designed to be serviced. The crew also will return an ammonia pump that recently failed on the station. Engineers want to understand why the pump failed and improve designs for future spacecraft.

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