Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Space Shuttle Launch

We're down to the last two launches of the space shuttle program, and your last chance to see one of the greatest man-made spectacles of all time.


Discovery is already finished with its service, and headed later in the year to the Smithsonian in Washington. That leaves Endeavour, slated to launch from Kennedy Space Center on Friday , April 29 at 3:47 p.m. on STS-134 on a 14-day mission to the International Space Station. It's scheduled to land back at KSC on 9:28 a.m. on Friday, May 13. When it lands, Endeavour has been promised to the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

The final mission of the shuttle program with space shuttle Atlantis on STS-135, slated for 3:14 p.m. on Tuesday, June 28 for a 12-day mission to the ISS and scheduled to land on Sunday, July 10 at 11:18 a.m. Atlantis has been promised to spend its retirement not too far from where she's spent most of her career -- the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex.


Endeavour's mission features a six-member crew led by Mark Kelly. Kelly's wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was the victim of a mass-shooting in Arizona in January that killed six people. She has received doctor's clearance to view the launch and will be attendance.


So as far as watching the launches, the last ones will be media circuses and the crowds should be incredible, so if you're a space enthusiast, you may want to make plans now for where you're going to stay.


If you do plan on watching the shuttle launch or land for that matter, be sure to check nasa.gov for updates for changes to the schedule.

By Richard Tribou, Orlando Sentinel

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