Members of the media gather for a post-launch news conference held in the Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, following the successful launch of space shuttle Atlantis on its STS-135 mission to the International Space Station. Seen here are NASA Public Affairs Officer Mike Curie (left) moderator; Associate Administrator for Space Operations Bill Gerstenmaier, Kennedy Center Director Bob Cabana, Shuttle Program Launch Integration Manager Mike Moses, and Shuttle Launch Director Mike Leinbach.
Atlantis began its final flight 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 will fly 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 will be 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/Jim Grossmann