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Friday, July 8, 2011

The Last Shuttle Launch

Atlantis' last launch.  Photo courtesy of NASA.
Space Shuttle Atlantis launched today.  It will be its last flight.  It will also be the last launch of the space shuttles.  In many ways, it is a wonderful day.  For many, it is also a very sad day.

It is a wonderful day because it was a successful launch.  Atlantis has flown for 25 years.  It has flown over 115 million miles.

Atlantis launched the Magellan spacecraft to planet Mars.  Atlantis sent the Galileo spacecraft to Jupiter.  Last year, Atlantis made the final flight to the Hubble Telescope to make upgrades.  On this trip, Atlantis brings a new Russian-made research laboratory to the international space station.

It is also a sad day because it is the end of America's manned space program.  In my home of Houston and also Florida, many of the people who worked on the shuttle program will lose their jobs.  For the first time in fifty years, America will not be able to send astronauts into space.

Thank you to all of the brave and creative people who worked on the shuttle program.  Each of you had a part in something amazing.  Each of you had a part in helping us to learn more about our remarkable earth and our awesome universe. 

If you would like to watch the last shuttle launch, just click here:

If you would like to learn more about the last shuttle launch and about the shuttle program, just click one of the links below:

This is a great poster about Atlantis' missions:  http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/488843main_2atlantis_full_full.jpg

Click here to learn about the last shuttle mission:  http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/pdf/565676main_sts135mission.pdf

Here's a chart that tells about every shuttle mission:  http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/537939main_063011Shuttle-Wall-Chart.pdf

Here's a fun game to learn how to load the shuttle:  http://www.nasa.gov/pdf/227841main_Load_the_Shuttle.pdf

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