Shuttle Atlantis blasted off in a very historic launch today despite concerns about the weather and a last-minute problem that was quickly solved. The shuttle took off just behind schedule at 11:29 EST. It is the last time a shuttle will travel to space before this program is retired.
“The space shuttle spreads its wings one final time for the start of a sentimental journey into history,” said a NASA observer from the Kennedy Space Center as the shuttle blasted off smoothly.
This program started in 1981 with the launch of Columbia. Since that time, 135 shuttle missions have been launched. Atlantis itself will have flown 35 missions by the time it heads into retirement. The shuttle holds a year’s worth of supplies for the International Space Station. When going up, it weighed about 8,000 pounds.
Overall, this was a very succesful launch and we are all glad. NASA’s final space shuttle mission.