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"Space Shuttle Atlantis now comes home to the Kennedy Space Center for the final time. Twenty-five years, thirty-two flights and more than 120 million miles traveled - the legacy of Atlantis now in the history books".
"We'll... turn this incredible machine over to the ground teams to put her back in the barn for a little bit".
Atlantis and her six-man crew have come home to KSC's Runway 33, after traveling 4,879,978 miles on what is scheduled to be her last mission. NASA reports:
Image above: Space shuttle Atlantis lands at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Credit: NASA TV
With Commander Ken Ham and Pilot Tony Antonelli at the controls, space shuttle Atlantis descended to its final planned landing at Kennedy Space Center, Fla. The STS-132 crew concluded its successful mission to the International Space Station when the shuttle touched down at 8:48 a.m. EDT.
The crew began its mission May 14 and arrived at the station May 16.
Using the station’s robotic arm, Mission Specialists Piers Sellers and Garrett Reisman added Rassvet, the Russian Mini-Research Module 1, to the station. The new module will host a variety of biotechnology and biological science experiments and fluid physics and educational research.
During three spacewalks Reisman, along with Mission Specialists Mike Good and Steve Bowen, added a backup high-data-rate antenna to the station and a tool platform to Dextre, the robot-like special purpose dexterous manipulator. They removed and replaced six 375-pound batteries on the station’s P6 truss segment.
STS-132 is the 132nd shuttle mission and the 34th mission to visit the space station. The next mission, STS-133, is slated to launch in September.
Image above: Space shuttle Atlantis is clearly visible on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center after rollback of the rotating service structure. Image credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller › View larger image
At NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A, space shuttle Atlantis stands ready to launch on its 32nd and last scheduled mission, STS-132. Major milestones and event times for launch day are provided below.
Friday's Countdown Highlights (all times are listed in EDT)
Mission Management Team meets to give a "go" for the fueling of Atlantis
Image above: At NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A, space shuttle Atlantis stands ready for liftoff following loading of its external tank with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. Image credit: NASA TV
Image above: At NASA Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A, space shuttle Atlantis is revealed Thursday evening after retraction of the pad's rotating service structure. Image credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller › View larger image
Space shuttle Atlantis is embarking on its final planned mission. During the 12-day flight, Atlantis and six astronauts will fly to the International Space Station, leaving behind a Russian Mini Research Module, a set of batteries for the station's truss and dish antenna, along with other replacement parts.
NASA astronaut Ken Ham will command an all-veteran flight crew: Pilot Tony Antonelli, and Mission Specialists Michael Good, Garrett Reisman, Piers Sellers and Steve Bowen.
After the final STS-132 Flight Readiness Review, John Shannon, Space Shuttle Program manager, pointed out that Atlantis' last planned mission will be an exciting one.
"Twelve days, three [spacewalks], tons of robotics... We're putting on spares that make us feel good about the long-term sustainability of the ISS, replacing batteries that have been up there for a while, and docking a Russian-built ISS module," Shannon said. "This flight has a little bit of everything, and it's been a great preparation for the team."
"Dex, congratulations to you and the crew on an outstanding mission"
"..It was a great mission... we are proud glad that the International Space Station is stocked up again, thanks a lot."
Discovery landed at Kennedy Space Center this morning after a one-day delay caused by bad weather. The orbiter is on the ground at the Shuttle Landing Facility, having wrapped up a successful mission to the International Space Station. NASA reports:
Image above: Space shuttle Discovery lands at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, completing the STS-131 mission to the International Space Station. Image credit: NASA TV
With Commander Alan G. Poindexter and Pilot James P. Dutton Jr. at the controls, space shuttle Discovery descended to a smooth landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The STS-131 crew members concluded their successful mission to the International Space Station when the shuttle touched down at 9:08 a.m. EDT.
Discovery arrived at the station April 7, delivering more than seven tons of equipment and supplies. During the 10-day stay, Mission Specialists Rick Mastracchio and Clayton Anderson conducted three spacewalks to install a 1,700-pound ammonia tank assembly on the station’s exterior to replace a depleted predecessor. They also replaced a rate gyro assembly, retrieved a Japanese experiment and two debris shields.
Image above: Space shuttle Discovery and crew returned home to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9:08 a.m. EDT on April 20. the landing brings to a close a 15-day mission after 238 orbits of Earth covering 6,232,235 statue miles. Image credit: NASA TV
Flight Day 16 is homecoming Day for Discovery. After skipping the first two landing opportunities (one each at KSC and Edwards), mission managers gave the "GO" for deorbit burn at 7:43 EDT this morning. The three-minute firing began at 8:03AM, slowing the orbiter enough to where it dropped out of orbit. Discovery will glide to a landing at KSC's Runway 33 at 9:08AM. NASA reports:
Space shuttle Discovery has completed its deorbit burn to slow the shuttle on its descent to a 9:08 a.m. landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The landing will take the shuttle over Vancouver, northeast Washington, near Helena, Montana, over central Wyoming, across Kansas to northeast of Tulsa, Oklahoma, north of Little Rock, Arkansas, over Oxford, Mississippi, near Montgomery, Alabama, north of Albany, east of Valdosta and south of Columbus, Georgia, and, finally, over Florida east of Gainesville and west of Jacksonville.
Lingering fog and some unexpected small rain showers forced flight controllers to pass on space shuttle Discovery’s first landing opportunity at Kennedy.