Launch Date: 11:26 a.m. EDT, July 8, 2011
Prediction for favorable weather: 30%
It features, Atlantis soaring above Earth. Threaded through the design are the mission patches for each of Atlantis’ flights. Atlantis’ accomplishments include seven missions to the Russian space station Mir and several assembly, construction and resupply missions to the International Space Station. Atlantis also flew the last Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission on STS-125.
The stars in the background represent the many people who have worked with Atlantis and their contributions to the vehicle’s success. Graphic design credit: NASA/Amy Lombardo
On July 5, STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson and pilot Doug Hurley perform touch-and-go landings aboard a Shuttle Training Aircraft at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The craft is a Gulfstream II jet that was modified to mimic the shuttle’s handling during the final phase of landing. These practice landings are a part of standard training procedures. Image Credit: NASA/Cory Huston
From left are Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett June 23, 2011
Bench Review in Progress
During the bench review of systems and hardware in the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Atlantis’ STS-135 crew members get a close look at some of the equipment they’ll use in space.
The astronauts dressed in clean-room attire known as “bunny suits” are Mission Specialist Rex Walheim (left), a technician, Commander Chris Ferguson and Mission Specialist Sandy Magnus.
The review is part of the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT) and related training. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett
Atlantis is Cleared for Launch
In the Operations Support Building II at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Space Shuttle Program and mission managers meet for the traditional Flight Readiness Review (FRR), a thorough assessment of preparations for the STS-135 mission.
The meeting is designed to produce a number of key decisions about space shuttle Atlantis’ readiness for flight, including the announcement of an official launch date. Photo credit: Jim Grossmann June 28, 2011
Payload Bay Doors Closing
At Launch Pad 39A, work is under way to close space shuttle Atlantis’ payload bay doors around the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module payload for Atlantis’ STS-135 and final mission. Photo credit: NASA/Frank Michaux
Bay Doors are Closed
At Launch Pad 39A, space shuttle Atlantis’ payload bay doors are closed around the STS-135 payload, the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module, for flight. Photo credit: NASA/Jim Grossmann