Atlantis Goes Vertical for the Last Time

Article written: 31 May , 2011
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – For the last time in history, Atlantis and the shuttle program have literally gone vertical. Following the rollover of Atlantis into the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), the orbiter was attached to a massive crane and then hoisted and mated to the External Tank and twin Solid Rocket boosters that will power her 25th and last climb to orbit.

Myself and a small band of lucky photo journalists were privileged to witness this milestone on the way to blastoff of the STS-135 mission, the last one of the three decade long shuttle era. Check out a selection of my images in this photo album for Universe Today readers. I’ll post a few now and more later as Atlantis prepares to rollout to Launch Pad 39 A.

The STS-135 mission remains on target for liftoff on July 8 at about 11:40 a.m. EDT on a 12 day flight to deliver critical parts, science experiments, gear, crew supplies and provisions to the International Space Station (ISS).

Credit: Ken Kremer

Credit: Ken Kremer

Credit: Ken Kremer

Credit: Ken Kremer

Credit: Ken Kremer

Credit: Ken Kremer

Credit: Ken Kremer

Read my prior story about the Final Shuttle mission, STS-135, here:
Atlantis Rolls to Vehicle Assembly Building with Final Space Shuttle Crew for July 8 Blastoff

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1 Response

  1. Given the recent history of shuttle launches, it may not be the last time, but let’s hope so.

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