Hitting Home That the Space Shuttle Program is Ending

by Nancy Atkinson on April 14, 2010

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Atlantis rolls to the VAB. Image credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today

As NASA’s space shuttles head towards retirement, events are starting to happen now that are “lasts” for the program. On April 13, 2010 Atlantis was rolled over to the Vehicle Assembly Building for what is likely the last time. The workers at Kennedy Space Center are preparing Atlantis for its final flight, STS-132, currently scheduled for launch in mid-May 2010, and in the VAB the orbiter will be mated to the External Tank and solid rocket boosters. Thanks to photographer Alan Walters, Universe Today hopes to be able to chronicle these final events as the storied space shuttle program comes to an end. Of course, with NASA’s future seemingly in a state of flux, there’s a small possibility additional shuttle flights will be added, but enjoy this gallery of Alan’s wonderful pictures showing what is scheduled to be Atlantis’ final rollover.

Atlantis just leaving the Orbiter Processing Facility. Image credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today

Atlantis moving to the Vehicle Assembly Building. Image credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today

Atlantis, head on! Image credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today

Atlantis during the last rollover to the VAB. Image credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today

The aft end of Atlantis, as seen during the rollover. Image credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today

Atlantis during its likely last rollover to the VAB. Image credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today

Atlantis entering the VAB for what is likely the last time. Image credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also is the host of the NASA Lunar Science Institute podcast and works with Astronomy Cast. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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