Government IT: NASA's Atlantis Shuttle Docks With ISS for the Last Time
The crew of NASA's space shuttle Atlantis and members of the International Space Station greeted each other in orbit above Earth July 10 during Atlantis' final visit to the ISS. Astronauts spent most of their time transferring equipment and supplies from the Raffaello multipurpose module to the ISS. Atlantis lifted off July 8 on the final flight of the shuttle program, STS-135, a 12-day mission to the ISS. Atlantis carries a crew of four and the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module containing supplies and spare parts for the space station. STS-135 is the 135th shuttle flight, the 33rd flight for Atlantis and the 37th shuttle mission dedicated to station assembly and maintenance Atlantis, the fourth orbiter built, flew its maiden voyage Oct. 3, 1985. Later missions included the first docking to the Russian Mir space station in June 1995; the delivery of the Destiny Laboratory to the space station in February 2001; the first launch with a camera mounted to the external tank, which captured the shuttle's ascent to orbit in October 2002; and the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope in May 2009. Atlantis is named after the two-masted, primary research ship that operated for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts from 1930 to 1966.