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Atlantis lifts off for last scheduled flight

Posted by on May. 14, 2010 at 5:22 PM
  • 3 Replies

 CAPE CANAVERAL -- Space shuttle Atlantis thundered off its launchpad at Kennedy Space Center into cloudless skies Friday afternoon and headed to the International Space Station on the 32nd and final planned mission of its 25-year career.

It was a bittersweet moment for the shuttle workers standing outside the landmark Vehicle Assembly Building to watch the first of the final three launches before the shuttle is retired later this year. It was also emotional for the six-member crew that strapped into Atlantis for possibly the last time.

Said shuttle launch director Mike Leinbach, minutes before launch: "I'd like to wish you all good luck and Godspeed and have some fun out there."

Replied Atlantis commander Ken Ham: "Thank you to the thousands of folks out there who have taken care of this bird for a long timeā€¦. If it's ok with you , we're going to take her out of the barn and take her for a few more laps around the planet."

Astronaut Dave Wolf watched the launch from a top of the Orlando Sentinel's office at KSC. "It never gets old," he said.

Tens of thousands of spectators crowded Space Coast beaches and causeways to catch a glimpse of the historic flight. Defense Secretary
Robert Gates, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin and David Letterman, host of the CBS "Late Show," were on hand, along with 150 space enthusiasts selected by NASA for a "tweetup."
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-shuttle-atlantis-launches-20100514,0,840519.story

by on May. 14, 2010 at 5:22 PM
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Joqui
by Joqui on May. 14, 2010 at 5:24 PM

I'm kinda sad that this will be the last scheduled flight but we truly don't have the money to fund NASA ... though, man, I wish there was a way to cut in other areas... space has offered so much :(

mom_of_3_angels
by Member on May. 14, 2010 at 5:25 PM

I watched that this afternoon and it reminded me of why I miss living in Florida. I used to love going outside and watching for the shuttles going up. When I was in school the teachers would let us all go out to see them. The best is when its dark.

tericared
by on May. 14, 2010 at 6:48 PM

 I love the sonic boom when it comes back....Some times it rattles our windows....

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