Successful launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis

Saturday, September 9, 2006

The launch of STS-115

Space Shuttle Atlantis

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About Atlantis

Space Shuttle Orbiter Atlantis is one of the fleet of space shuttles belonging to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It was the fourth operational shuttle built. Following the destruction of Columbia, it is one of the three fully operational shuttles remaining in the fleet. The other two are Discovery and Endeavour. After it completes STS-125, the final Hubble Space Telescope service mission, Atlantis is scheduled to be the first shuttle retired from the fleet.

Other NASA Space Shuttles
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Space Shuttle Atlantis successfully launched this morning after 4 years of inactivity. Liftoff, from Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center occurred at 15:14:55 GMT, with the spacecraft reaching orbit about 8 1/2 minutes later. Television coverage included a live camera on the external fuel tank that remained on after separation.

Early indications suggest that there was no serious damage caused by foam debris, which was responsible for the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia in February 2003.

The mission marks the resumption of the International Space Station assembly program, which began in 1998, but was halted after the Columbia disaster. The Shuttle, which is crewed by six astronauts, will install a truss section and solar panels at the space station.


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