Space Shuttle Atlantis is set to launch on its final mission Friday, May 14. Atlantis was the fourth shuttle built and the primary orbiter for the Shuttle-Mir missions.
The Cosmosphere is offering a free presentation beginning at 12:45 p.m. on Friday, May 14, that will culminate in a live view of the launch at 1:20 p.m. If the launch is scrubbed, we’ll postpone the event and have it posted on our website at www.cosmo.org.
Cosmosphere staff will talk about the legacy of Atlantis and the highlights of this mission.
Atlantis launched its first flight Oct 3, 1985, which began a mission dedicated to the Department of Defense, the first of several such missions flown by Atlantis. In 1989 Atlantis deployed the Magellan probe that went to Venus, and the Galileo probe that went to Jupiter. Two years later an Atlantis crew deployed the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.
As part of the Shuttle-Mir program, Atlantis flew seven missions to the Russian space station Mir between 1995 and 1997. Atlantis has flown ten missions to the International Space Station, including delivering the Quest Joint Airlock and the European Columbus laboratory to the station. In May 2009 Atlantis flew the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.
The current mission of Atlantis, STS-132, is delivering the Russian-built Mini Research module and supplies in an Integrated Cargo Carrier to the station. The twelve-day mission has six crew members and will include three spacewalks to store spare batteries, an antenna, and parts for the Canadian Dextre robotic arm on the outside of the station.
Join Cosmosphere staff and other space enthusiasts at 12:45 p.m. on May 14 to experience this historic moment together as Atlantis begins its final mission.