Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Shuttle Atlantis Final Mission Live Feed, Kennedy Space Center Web Cam Stream, Cape Canaveral

The Space Shuttle Atlantis was rolled out to the launch pad Tuesday 31 May 2011 for the last shuttle mission ever. As crews move Shuttle Atlantis, they're also preparing for Space Shuttle Endeavour to land at Kennedy Space Center.

This live feed is at the Kennedy Space Center for the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis:

Atlantis is targeted to launch July 8. The Space Shuttle Atlantis (Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-104) is the last Space Shuttle orbiter in the Space Shuttle fleet belonging to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the spaceflight and space exploration agency of the United States (the other operational Space Shuttle being Endeavour). The Atlantis was the fourth operational (and the next-to-the-last) Space Shuttle to be constructed by the Rockwell International company in Southern California, and it was delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center in eastern Florida in April 1985. Atlantis is the only orbiter which lacks the ability to draw power from the International Space Station while docked there; it must continue to provide its own power through fuel cells.

Atlantis is nearing retirement, with its last scheduled missions the contingent Launch on Need (LON) vehicle (STS-335) for Endeavour's final launch (STS-134), and STS-135, the last flight before the Shuttle program ends. This final flight was authorized by the President in October, 2010, to bring additional supplies to the International Space Station and take advantage of the processing performed for the Launch on Need mission, which will only be flown in the event that Endeavour's crew requires rescue. The 2011 federal budget, enacted on 15 April 2011, includes sufficient funds for NASA to fly the mission. As of 21 April 2011, NASA has yet to submit to Congress an operating plan, approval of which would cement funding, but this is considered a formality.

As of the completion of its 32nd flight (STS-132), Atlantis has orbited the Earth more than 4600 times, traveling over 120 million miles in space, or more than 500 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon. STS-135 will add an additional 5 million miles.