The Space Shuttle Atlantis soared into the heavens and the history books today, Friday July 8th, kicking off the last-ever of NASA‘s storied shuttle program.
Atlantis blasted off at 11:29 a.m. EDT ( 15:29 p.m. GMT ) from Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Centre. After 135 launches over 30 years the space shuttle will never streak into the sky again.
Atlantis and its four-astronaut crew are headed for a rendezvous with the International Space Station. The main goal of the shuttle’s 12 day flight – Atlantis’ 33rd mission after nearly 26 years of flying – is to deliver a year’s worth of supplies and spare parts to the orbiting lab.
Many astronauts born in 1951 have flown aboard the space shuttle, including America’s first woman in space Sally Ride. She first flew in June 1983 aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger.
Way back in July 1951, the Soviet Union was busy testing its R1 and R2 missiles which were based on captured German V-2 rockets. The United States were working on their Viking series of rockets. It was to be another 10 years before the first manned spaceflight.
- The 1951 Club is intended to be a celebration of all-things associated with the year 1951. Someone asked me why I did a blog about the year of my birth. Simple. It’s easier than doing one about the year of my death.
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