Shuttle Atlantis STS-135 was the final Space Shuttle mission. The
flight carried the Raffaello multi-purpose
logistics (MPLM) with supplies, logistics and spare parts to the
International Space Station.
Space Shuttle was launched on 8 July 2011.
The mission flew a system
to investigate the potential for robotically refueling existing
Note: This was the 37th
shuttle mission to the station and the 135th and final scheduled
shuttle flight, the 12th time Atlantis has arrived at the space
station and the 46th by a U.S. shuttle.
NASA announced the STS-335/135 crew on 14 September 2010. It will be the first
time that a crew of four will fly to the International Space Station.
Spacewalks: One conducted by ISS crew member.
Mission Duration: 13 days
Day 2: Sunday 10th, July 2011:
On Sunday 10th, July 2011 space shuttle Atlantis docked with the International
Space Station, marking the final time that the U.S. spacecraft will arrive at
the orbiting outpost.
At 12:47 p.m. EDT, hatches were opened between the International Space Station
and space shuttle Atlantis, beginning the joint phase of the STS-135 mission.
Space shuttle Atlantis docked with the International Space Station at 11:07 a.m.
EDT Sunday with a cargo-carrying module in its payload bay filled with equipment
and supplies for the orbiting laboratory. Hatches separating crews were opened
at 12:47 p.m. Shuttle crew members, Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley
and Mission Specialists Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim, entered the station
moments later to begin their week-plus stay.
Ferguson and Hurley used the shuttle arm to take its 50-foot extension boom from
the station’s Canadarm2 operated by station Flight Engineers Ron Garan and
Satoshi Furukawa. The station arm had plucked the boom from its stowage position
on the shuttle cargo bay sill. The handoff was to prepare to use the boom for
any needed shuttle heat shield inspection later this week. Magnus worked with TV
setup and Walheim transferred spacewalk gear.
Docking had gone just as planned. Ferguson and the crew of space shuttle
Atlantis began their final approach to the station from about eight miles
distance with the terminal initiation burn at 8:29 a.m.
About 600 feet below the station, Atlantis did a backflip to enable station crew
members to photograph the shuttle’s heat shield. The photos were sent to mission
control to be evaluated by experts on the ground to look for any damage.
Flight controllers began monitoring reports from the Department of Defense’s
U.S. Strategic Command that a piece of orbital debris may come near the station
and shuttle complex about noon on Tuesday. The debris, part of satellite COSMOS
375, is one of more than 500,000 pieces of debris tracked in Earth’s orbit. The
team expected updated tracking information following today’s docking to help
determine if a maneuver using the shuttle’s thrusters is necessary to avoid the
The crew sleep period is scheduled to begin at 6:59 p.m. Flight Day 4 begins
with crew wake up at 2:59 a.m. Monday.
Day 3: Monday 11th, July, 2011
Piloting the Canadarm2 from the robotic workstation in the International Space
Station’s cupola, astronauts Doug Hurley and Sandy Magnus grabbed the Raffaello
multi-purpose logistics module at 5:16 a.m. EDT. They lifted it out of shuttle
Atlantis’ cargo bay at 5:47 a.m. and installed it on the Earth-facing port of
the station’s Harmony node at 6:46 a.m.
The 21-foot long, 15-foot diameter Raffaello is packed with 9,403 pounds of
spare parts, spare equipment, and other supplies – including 2,677 pounds of
food - that will sustain space station operations for a year. Raffaello carries
eight Resupply Stowage Platforms (RSPs), two Intermediate Stowage Platforms
(ISPs), six Resupply Stowage Racks (RSRs) and one Zero Stowage Rack.
Capcom Megan McArthur notified Atlantis Commander Chris Ferguson that the
Mission Management Team has extended STS-135 by one day and determined a Focused
Inspection of the shuttle heat shield is not required.
Day 4: Tuesday 12th, July, 2011
Spacewalkers Install Robotic Refueling Mission Experiment.
Day 5: Wednesday 13th, July, 2011
Wakeup song was Elton John’s “Rocket Man
Day 6: Thursday 14th, July, 2011
Wakeup song was ‘Man on the Moon,” by Michael Stipe of R.E.M.
Day 7: Friday 15th, July, 2011
Atlantis Crew Awakened by ‘Good Day Sunshine' by Paul McCartney (Beatles)
Shuttle and Station Crews Speak with President Obama
Day 8: Saturday 16th, July, 2011
Wakeup Song is by Beyonce Knowles.
Shuttle Crew Leaves Historic Flag Aboard Station for Next U.S. Crew Vehicle
Day 9: Sunday 17th, July, 2011
NASA's Last Space Shuttle Crew Almost Done Packing Up. General Purpose Computer
4 Healthy Again.
Moving days aboard the International Space Station are nearing completion for
the station and shuttle crews.
The 9,400 pounds of equipment and supplies brought up by the multi-purpose
logistics module have been moved to the International Space Station. The loading
of Raffaello with almost 5,700 pounds of unneeded station equipment and trash
also is almost finished.
The Raffaelo module is scheduled to be unberthed early Monday from the station’s
Harmony node and secured in space shuttle Atlantis’ cargo bay for the ride home.
At the controls of the station’s Canadarm2 will be Atlantis Mission Specialist
Sandra Magnus, who served as load master for the complex and demanding cargo
transfer, and Pilot Doug Hurley.
The crew is scheduled to awaken at 10:29 p.m.
Day 10: Monday 18th, July, 2011
•July 18: Raffaello returned to shuttle bay
A busy day that featured the return of the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics
module to Atlantis’ cargo bay and an emotional farewell ceremony.
•July 19: Undocking from station
Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-135 is the final Space Shuttle mission. STS-135
flight carried the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics with supplies, logistics
and spare parts to the International Space Station.
•July 20: Test re-entry and landing systems
•July 21: LANDING in Florida @ 5:58 a.m.
The STS-135 crew members are:
1. Chris Ferguson (Commander)
2. Doug Hurley (Pilot)
3. Sandy Magnus
4. Rex Walheim
5. Mission Specialist
6. Mission Specialist
Did you know?
STS-134 was the previous Space Shuttle missions.
The third last shuttle mission was
* The last shuttle mission
to fly with just four crewmembers on board was STS-6, launched on
4 April 1983, 28 years before STS-135, aboard Space Shuttle
Challenger. The reduced crew size allows the mission to maximize
the amount of payload carried to the ISS and also allow for rescue
by Soyuz to be performed if necessary.
STS-135 Space Shuttle
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