After 30 years and 135 missions, residents and visitors to Florida's Space Coast flock to viewing sites near Port Canaveral to see the rocket's red glare of NASA's Space Shuttle Program soar for the last time. Space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to liftoff at 11:26 a.m. EDT from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. On board will be four experienced astronauts -- STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim.
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/Frank Michaux