NASA shuttle Atlantis spending last day in space

Crew prepares for return to Earth on Wednesday, when Atlantis is slated to begin retirement

NASA's space shuttle Atlantis today is spending what is expected to be its final day in space.

The six-person crew of Atlantis craft's has been testing the shuttle's flight control system and maneuvering jets today in preparation for Wednesday's scheduled 8:48 a.m. EDT landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

At this point, NASA plans to immediately retire Atlantis and then the remainder of the shuttle fleet after two other spacecraft complete their final missions in November . Some observers expect that delays will force the NASA space shuttle program to continue into next year.

After undocking from the International Space Station on Sunday, the shuttle crew made a customary fly around the station to check for any anomalies or damage to the orbiter. Then on Monday, the crew did a final inspection of the shuttle's heat shields, using cameras mounted on the robotic arm of Atlantis .

Over the course of the latest mission to the space station, astronauts installed a Russian-made module , which will add storage space, and room for scientific research to be done. The astronauts also installed a communications dish antenna on the outside of the station.

And one of their last tasks was to install six new batteries on the space station's solar array.

The Atlantis lifted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on May 14. The space shuttle has been flying for 25 years and had logged in 115 million miles before this latest mission becan.

The last space shuttle flights are focused on ferrying spare parts and equipment to the space station. Once NASA's shuttle fleet is retired, it will be far more difficult, if not impossible, to get such massive pieces of equipment to the station.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags NASAspace shuttle

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?