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Space shuttle Endeavour is ready to launch this week on its final flight to the International Space Station following a daylong Flight Readiness Review, last Tuesday (4/19/11). Endeavour is scheduled to launch Friday, April 29, at 3:47 p.m. EDT.
The STS-134 crew is scheduled to arrive at Kennedy on Tuesday, April 26, for final launch preparations.
It all started with STS-1, launched on April 12, 1981, just twenty years to the day after Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. When astronauts John Young and Robert Crippen launched that morning in Columbia, it was the first time in history a new spacecraft was launched on its maiden voyage with a crew aboard.
STS-135: Checking Out Space Cargo Container
NASA – In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the STS-135 crew inspects the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module with the carrier’s technician. From left are STS-135 pilot Doug Hurley, Sandy Magnus, Commander Chris Ferguson (upper level), a carrier technician and Rex Walheim. The four-member crew is at Kennedy participating in the Crew Equipment Interface Test, which gives them an opportunity for hands-on training with tools they’ll use in space and familiarization of the payload they’ll deliver to the International Space Station. Shuttle Atlantis is being prepared for the STS-135 mission, which will deliver the Raffaello module packed with supplies and spare parts to the station. Atlantis (STS-135) is targeted to launch June 28, and will be the last shuttle flight for the Space Shuttle Program. Image Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett