Atlantis Space Shuttle

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Ex-Astronaut Killed When Son Crashes Into His Jet Ski

NASA mourns Capt. Alan Poindexter

(Newser) - NASA is mourning former astronaut Alan Poindexter, who died in a jet ski accident in Florida over the weekend. Poindexter, 50, was on a jet ski with his 22-year-old son when his older son, 26, crashed into them on another jet ski, sending both men into the water, reports the... More »

Atlantis Makes Final Landing

30-year shuttle program ends smoothly

(Newser) - The very last space shuttle landing was as smooth as they come. NASA's 30-year space shuttle program came to end just before sunrise as Atlantis landed safely in Florida, the AP reports. The shuttle, which performed perfectly during its final mission to resupply the International Space Station, is home... More »

Atlantis Docks a Final Time

Last shuttle mission cruising along smoothly

(Newser) - Atlantis has docked with the International Space Station, yet another final milestone as NASA winds down its storied shuttle program with what the AP is perhaps excessively referring to as "a flight full of passion." "Atlantis arriving," called space station astronaut Ronald Garan Jr. as the... More »

Strangest Passengers in NASA History

From frogs to fish, the space shuttle has carried plenty of crazy critters

(Newser) - You can probably name the first American sent into space (Alan Shepard), but the first monkey, frog, and jellyfish made the trip with far less fanfare. Space Shuttle Atlantis took off yesterday with a few odd passengers: an iPhone and a mutant strain of salmonella. But they're not the... More »

Up to 1M Gather for Final Shuttle Launch

A 50-mile traffic jam is expected

(Newser) - Up to 1 million people are converging on Cape Canaveral to see the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis, surprising many with such a level of interest in the 30-year-old space program. A 50-mile traffic jam from the Kennedy Space Center to Orlando is expected today, despite the 70% chance... More »

Meet NASA's Last Shuttle Crew

Four astronauts close out program with Atlantis' final flight

(Newser) - They are the envy of America's space program: Christopher Ferguson, Douglas Hurley, Rex Walheim, and Sandra Magnus will zip into space on Friday aboard NASA's 135th and final shuttle mission. The smallest crew since 1983 amounts to an afterthought: They were initially groomed as a rescue mission in... More »

Endeavour Returns to Earth a Final Time

After 299 days in space, space shuttle grounded for good

(Newser) - After 25 missions, 299 days in space, 4,671 orbits around the Earth, and more than 122 million miles, the space shuttle Endeavour has landed for good. It touched down at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral at 2:34am this morning after its final 16-day mission, Space.com... More »

NASA Decides Homes for Retiring Space Shuttles

Three museums get Atlantis, Discovery, and Endeavour

(Newser) - NASA's space shuttle fleet has only two flights left, and the space agency announced today where the shuttles are going for retirement, reports CollectSpace :
  • Atlantis: It stays with NASA and will be parked at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.
  • Discovery: It's going to the Smithsonian's Steven F.
... More »

Inside the Crazy Museum Battle to Own Discovery

21 places are clamoring for it ... but the quietest spot might get it

(Newser) - Discovery returns to Earth today then will continue on to its final resting place ... location TBD. The 27-year-old shuttle (along with sister orbiters Endeavour and Atlantis) is one hot property these days, with 21 museums angling for the right to house it—and pay the $28.8 million it will... More »

Up for Grabs: Free* Space Shuttle *$29M Postage & Handling Required

Museums vie for soon-to-be-retired spacecraft

(Newser) - NASA is preparing to give away its space shuttle fleet to institutions willing to cough up $28.8 million per spacecraft for cleaning and transportation. Atlantis will be retired after returning from its final mission today and some two dozen museums and other institutions around the country are vying to... More »

Atlantis Begins Final Flight Home

Shuttle departs International Space Station

(Newser) - Space shuttle Atlantis undocked from the International Space Station for the last time this morning and began its return trip to Earth. With Tony Antonelli at the helm, the shuttle did an inspection lap around the nearly complete ISS before its 3-day trip home, reports Florida Today . "This place... More »

Atlantis Docks With Space Station

Mission to deliver Russian room to be shuttle's last

(Newser) - Space shuttle Atlantis docked with the International Space Station for the final time this morning, reports Space.com , capping a two-day flight meant to deliver a $200 million Russian module. "It is an absolutely stunning view," said Atlantis' commander as the ISS came into view. Hatches are to... More »

Coin in This Year's Super Bowl Is Out of This World

Literally—it was on Atlantis spaceflight

(Newser) - By the time the coin in this year's Super Bowl lands heads or tails tonight, it will have more than 4 million miles under its belt, reports Space.com . The gold-plated coin accompanied shuttle Atlantis on its 11-day mission in November, and is the first to have flown in space... More »

Atlantis Crew Finishes Mission

Astronauts complete final spacewalk

(Newser) - Astronauts from the space shuttle Atlantis finished the final spacewalk of their mission at the International Space Station today, clearing the way for their return Wednesday. Astronauts Robert Satcher and Randy Bresnik installed a science experiment that will test how materials, including a new kind of Teflon, hold up to... More »

Space Shuttle Lifts Off Safely

Atlantis heads for space station loaded with spare parts

(Newser) - Space shuttle Atlantis took off without a hitch this afternoon, departing Cape Canaveral, Fla., for the International Space Station. After a cloudy morning, the weather improved and the spacecraft lifted off on schedule at 2:28pm, carrying six astronauts—half of them first-timers in space—and two carriers filled with... More »

Shuttle Launch Comes With Real-World 'Tweetup'

NASA Twitter followers get front-row seats

(Newser) - Final preparations for tomorrow's space shuttle launch include inspecting Atlantis, briefing the six-person crew, and making sure followers of NASA's Twitter feed can see from where they're sitting. The first 100 people to register for the event received 2-day passes that include an in-person look at the launch. "I'm... More »

Atlantis Lands Safely in Calif.

Stormy Florida weather prompted NASA to go to Plan B

(Newser) - With weather conditions in Florida remaining too soggy for a safe shuttle landing, Atlantis instead touched down at Edwards Air Force Base in California this morning. This was the 53rd west-coast landing for a space shuttle, a $2 million decision made easy by the balmy conditions in the Mojave Desert.... More »

Storms Delay Shuttle for Another Day

Astronauts circling the world while controllers seek landing opportunities

(Newser) - Thunderstorms in Florida will keep space shuttle Atlantis in space for yet another day, the AP reports. Mission Control canceled all landing attempts for the second straight day at the Kennedy Space Center. The forecast looks clear for tomorrow, so the seven astronauts will try again then rather than heading... More »

Stuck Bolt Throws Wrench in Hubble Repairs

Spacewalk becomes sixth longest in history

(Newser) - Yesterday was a frustratingly long day in space as Atlantis astronauts struggled to fix a long-broken spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope. They ultimately succeeded, but a stuck bolt and dead battery prolonged the spacewalk to 8 hours—making it the sixth longest in history, Space.com reports. Astronauts also... More »

Hubble Gets New Camera

(Newser) - The Hubble space telescope got some improved vision today in the form of a new camera. Two Atlantis astronauts completed a seven-hour spacewalk to give the 19-year-old telescope a much-needed upgrade, Space.com reports. "Woo-hoo, it's moving out," said astronaut Andrew Feustel after the old camera refused to... More »

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