Space Shuttle Atlantis Launch Scheduled for July 8: NASA
The STS-135 mission to the International Space Station is the final flight of the space shuttle program.After the day-long Flight Readiness Review at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, senior space agency and contractor managers voted unanimously to set space shuttle Atlantis' STS-135 launch date as July 8 at 11:26 a.m. The STS-135 mission to the ISS (International Space Station) is the final flight of the space shuttle program. "We had a very thorough review," said Bill Gerstenmaier, assistant administrator for space operations. "This flight is incredibly important. The cargo that is coming up on this flight is really mandatory for space station." During the 12-day mission to the ISS, Atlantis and its crew will deliver the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module containing supplies and spare parts for the space station and its crew. "We're really looking forward to achieving this mission, putting station where it needs to be and finishing strong with the shuttle program here with STS-135," said Mike Moses, space shuttle program launch integration manager.
The mission will fly the RRM (Robotic Refueling Mission), an experiment designed to demonstrate and test the tools, technologies and techniques needed to robotically refuel satellites in space, even satellites not designed to be serviced. The crew also will return an ammonia pump that recently failed on the station. Engineers want to understand why the pump failed and improve designs for future spacecraft.