U.S. shuttle Atlantis landed for the last time

U.S. shuttle Atlantis landed for the last time


Shuttle Atlantis landed for the last time on Thursday at 09.56 GMT at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, ending the American space shuttle program, which lasted over 30 years, NASA announced.

The wheels of the shuttle Atlantis landing gear track reached the Kennedy Space Center, near Cape Canaveral at 05.56 local time (09.56 GMT) 42 minutes before sunrise one morning with blue skies and a descent 65 minutes per orbit.

Atlantis broke away for the last time the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday at 06.28 GMT, as expected, at an altitude of 350 kilometers above the Pacific Ocean, east of New Zealand.

Atlantis, with a crew of four astronauts - three men and a woman - has concluded such a mission almost eight days during which the orbital outpost supplied, which is connected on 10 July after its launch, considered historic held on 8 July in Florida.

On July 11, four astronauts on Atlantis have removed the module type of deck cargo Raffaelo shuttle using a robotic arm on the ISS, and then attached him to stop. Pressurized module, the size of a minibus, contains four tons of food, supplies, parts and materials for scientific experiments aboard the ISS. Raffaelo carried 1.2 tons of food will allow the crew of six astronauts on the ISS, change every six months to hold the space for one year.

On July 12, occurred only in the output orbit space missions conducted by Americans Michael Fossum and Ronald warranty. They were removed from the ISS a pump with ammonia (a refrigerant) defects, to install the deck shuttle Atlantis, which was brought to Earth.

American astronauts aboard the ISS have installed a new experimental system that allows automated replenishment of fuel under the satellites in order to prolong the operation.

Atlantis shuttle landing of the shuttle ended American space program, 30 years after the first launch. Shuttle will then be exhibited in several museums in the United States.

After the space mission, and also the 135 last, the United States is, for the first time since 1981, in a position to have no vehicle to carry astronauts to the space and will depend at least five years Russian Soyuz capsule - which charges 51 million dollars a seat at the board - until a new U.S. space vehicle will be built to replace the space shuttle.

Administration of President Barack Obama encourages this purpose the commercial sector, and companies like Boeing and SpaceX have already announced involvement

The first private spacecraft carrying U.S. goods could be released in late 2012, but NASA must wait at least until 2015 until the new capsule capable of carrying astronauts will be ready to take off.

Automated cargo type vehicles - European ATV, Japanese HTV and Russian Progress capsules - can carry food and equipment on the ISS.

ISS, whose construction began in 1998 and occupied continuously since November 2000, is Earth orbit at an altitude of 350 kilometers, making one complete revolution around the Earth every 90 minutes, speed sailing average of 28,000 km / hour. Weighing over 408 tons, ISS offers a living space equivalent of a Boeing 747.

ISS space is a project worth 100 billion dollars, mainly financed by the United States and the achievement of which involved 16 countries.

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