Last Flight of Atlantis

After almost 25 years in service, at 7.20pm [BST] tonight Nasa’s Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to lift-off from Kennedy Space Center on its last ever flight – Mission STS-132.  There’s Nasa’s launch blog and the usual online NasaTV coverage.

Only two more missions remain in the Space Shuttle programme.

Meanwhile Congress continues to hear from opponents of US President Obama’s new policy for Nasa, including, in a rare public appearance, moonwalker Neil Armstrong.

Adds Via NASAtelevision

And perhaps I should have said First Last Flight…  As the BBC’s Spaceman notes

As I’ve already discussed in this blog, there is some talk in the US as to whether having gone to the trouble of prepping Atlantis in this way, Nasa should just fly it out anyway.

The extra spares and supplies would be gratefully received at the station and were the ship to sustain damage itself – a holed wing on lift-off, for example – the small crew (just four individuals) could return to Earth in Soyuz capsules.

That’s a decision for later in the year. President Obama still has to convince Congress that his new strategy for space exploration is the correct one and that the shuttle fleet should be stood down as planned.

Some politicians persist in trying to get orbiter operations extended, so nothing can yet be said to be a done deal.


Discover more from Slugger O'Toole

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

We are reader supported. Donate to keep Slugger lit!

For over 20 years, Slugger has been an independent place for debate and new ideas. We have published over 40,000 posts and over one and a half million comments on the site. Each month we have over 70,000 readers. All this we have accomplished with only volunteers we have never had any paid staff.

Slugger does not receive any funding, and we respect our readers, so we will never run intrusive ads or sponsored posts. Instead, we are reader-supported. Help us keep Slugger independent by becoming a friend of Slugger. While we run a tight ship and no one gets paid to write, we need money to help us cover our costs.

If you like what we do, we are asking you to consider giving a monthly donation of any amount, or you can give a one-off donation. Any amount is appreciated.