NASA final shuttle launch scheduled for July 8

May 21st, 2011 - 12:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, May 21 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The final space shuttle flight has been tentatively scheduled for July 8 from the Kennedy space centre in Florida, NASA said.

“This date was targeted based on NASA’s current planning. An official launch date will be announced following the June 28 Flight Readiness Review,” NASA said in a press release Friday.

Four veteran astronauts will take space shuttle Atlantis on a 12-day re-supply mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

“STS-135 will be Atlantis’ 33rd mission and the 37th shuttle flight dedicated to station assembly and maintenance. It will be the 135th and final mission of NASA’s Space Shuttle Programme,” NASA said.

Once the shuttle fleet is retired, Russian Soyuz craft will be the only way for astronauts to reach the ISS until at least the middle of the decade. NASA is paying its Russian counterpart Roscosmos more than $1 billion for crew transport services over the next four years.

The retired four shuttle orbiters will be displayed permanently at various scientific institutions across the US. Atlantis will be on display at the Kennedy space centre.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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