Tag archives for Space Shuttle
Space shuttle Atlantis lifted off this morning, beginning the last mission of the shuttle program. The program began when space shuttle Columbia flew into space in 1981, and Atlantis flew its first mission in 1985. To mark the final flight, Atlantis crew members are planning to take a flag from the first 1981 shuttle mission to the International Space Station, where it will stay until the first commercial flight to the station. The astronauts will also be taking an iPhone, marking the first time the iPhone has traveled into space.
Photograph courtesy Kim Shiflett, NASA
NASA’s space shuttle Endeavour concluded its final mission Wednesday. The launch was the last for the Endeavour, which had been in service since 1992. The shuttle made 25 flights and was in service for 19 years. “It’s sad to see her land for the last time,” mission commander astronaut Mark Kelly told NASA mission control, “but she really has a great legacy.”
Photograph courtesy NASA
On February 24, 2011, space shuttle Discovery rocketed to space for its 39th and final mission. The shuttle traveled to the International Space Station, where it docked and installed a module containing supplies and spare parts for the station. The shuttle’s crew also installed additional space station equipment during spacewalks. Discovery landed a little before noon at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, March 9, completing its last trip.
As of the end of the mission, Discovery spent a total 365 days in space during all its missions–adding up to a whole year! The space shuttles were originally designed to take about 100 trips into space. Endeavour is scheduled to launch on April 19.
See more pictures from Discovery‘s final mission on National Geographic News.
See space shuttle pictures on National Geographic Kids.
Photograph by Joe Skipper, Reuters