Launch controllers wave their STS-135 shuttle launch team member flags and cheer in Firing Room 4 of the Launch Control Center following the successful launch of space shuttle Atlantis from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In the foreground, from left, are NASA Test Directors Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Jeremy Graeber, and Jeff Spaulding; Orbiter Test Conductor Roberta Wyrick; and Assistant Orbiter Test Conductor Laurie Sally. Atlantis began its final flight, the STS-135 mission to the International Space Station, at 11:29 a.m. EDT on July 8.
STS-135 will deliver the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module packed with supplies and spare parts for the International Space Station. Atlantis also is flying the Robotic Refueling Mission experiment that will investigate the potential for robotically refueling existing satellites in orbit. In addition, Atlantis will return with a failed ammonia pump module to help NASA better understand the failure mechanism and improve pump designs for future systems. STS-135 is the 33rd flight of Atlantis, the 37th shuttle mission to the space station, and the 135th and final mission of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. For more information, visit www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts135/index.html. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett