Space shuttle Atlantis stands on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it is set to liftoff on STS-135, the final shuttle mission.
Credit: NASA/Terry Zaperach
NASA's last space shuttle ever to roar off the launch pad and soar in orbit around Earth will blast off on July 8 from NASA's storied spaceport in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
The orbiter Atlantis will launch from the seaside Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center at 11:26 a.m. EDT (1526 GMT) for NASA's shuttle swan song. Atlantis and a crew of four astronauts will fly a 12-day mission to the International Space Station to deliver spare parts and supplies for the orbiting lab.
In honor of the final shuttle countdown, SPACE.com has made a list of its own space shuttle countdowns leading up to the last-ever launch of NASA's winged reusable spaceship fleet:
- Vote Now! What's Your Favorite Space Shuttle?
- Photos: NASA's Prepares for Final Shuttle Flight
- Retro Space Pictures: Building Shuttle Atlantis
- Gallery: Inside Shuttle Discovery, a Reporter's-Eye View
- Complete Coverage: Final Flight of NASA's Space Shuttle
Tuesday, June 28
Wednesday, June 29
Space Shuttle Memories: Share Your Experiences for NASA's Last Flight
What's your fondest memory of the space shuttle program? Managing Editor Tariq Malik shares his first up-close glimpse of shuttle Atlantis, the last to fly.
Thursday, June 30
Friday, July 1
Saturday, July 2
Sunday, July 3
Monday, July 4 (Independence Day)
4 Great Holiday Space Shuttle Flights
Astronauts have been working in space during holidays since the dawn of human spaceflight and this year is no exception. This Fourth of July finds six people living in orbit on the International Space Station while NASA's last space shuttle crew heads to the launch site for a planned July 8 blastoff.
Tuesday, July 5
The 3 Most Flown Space Shuttles of NASA's Fleet
Over the course of 30 years, NASA's space shuttles have played a critical role in constructing the International Space Station, launching and servicing satellites and observatories in orbit, and delivering astronauts and many tons of cargo into space.
Wednesday, July 6
NASA's 2 Female Space Shuttle Commanders
Though dozens of women have flown on the space shuttle during the course of its 30-year career, only two have commanded the spaceship.
Thursday, July 7
No. 1: Space Shuttle Program's Biggest Accomplishment
Friday, July 8
Last Launch of a NASA Space Shuttle