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Photos: NASA's Prepares for Final Shuttle Flight

Space Shuttle Atlantis' Payload Bay Doors Closed for Flight

NASA/Jim Grossmann

At Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, space shuttle Atlantis' payload bay doors are closed for flight. The payload arrived at the pad June 16 for installation into Atlantis and includes the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module packed with supplies and spare parts for the International Space Station. The STS-135 mission also will fly a system to investigate the potential for robotically refueling existing satellites and return a failed ammonia pump module to help NASA better understand the failure mechanism and improve pump designs for future systems. Atlantis and its crew are scheduled to lift off at 11:26 a.m. EDT July 8. STS-135 will be the 33rd flight of Atlantis, the 37th shuttle mission to the space station, and the 135th and final mission of NASA's Space Shuttle Program.

STS-135 Pilot Doug Hurley

NASA/Cory Huston

In the Operations and Checkout Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, STS-135 Pilot Doug Hurley has his launch-and-landing suit checked by suit technician Cathy Cruz, part of final preparations for space shuttle Atlantis' STS-135 mission to the International Space Station. Atlantis and its crew are scheduled to lift off at 11:26 a.m. EDT on July 8 to deliver the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module packed with supplies and spare parts to the station.

The Sun Also Rises

NASA/Jim Grossmann

The sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, illuminating space shuttle Atlantis' external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters on Launch Pad 39A. Launch is scheduled to take place for the STS-135 mission on July 8, 2011. This image was taken on June 23, 2011.

Space Shuttle Atlantis at the Launch Pad - STS-135

NASA/Terry Zaperach

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.

NASA's Last 4 Shuttle Astronauts Arrive for Countdown

collectSPACE/Robert Pearlman

NASA’s final space shuttle crew waves American flags celebrating their Fourth of July arrival at Kennedy Space Center for their launch on July 8, 2011. From left to right: Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim.

STS-135 TCDT Walkout

collectSPACE/Robert Z. Pearlman

The four astronauts on shuttle Atlantis' final mission, the STS-135 flight, conducted a dress rehearsal for their July liftoff on June 23.

Atlantis Rolls Out with Spectators

NASA/Gianni Woods

Thousands of spectators watched space shuttle Atlantis' historic final journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, on May 31, 2011.

STS-135 Crew at Rollout

collectSPACE/Robert Z. Pearlman

Shuttle Atlantis' final crew, commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim, stand in front of the orbiter as it rolls out to the launch pad one last time.

Atlantis with Crew

collectSPACE/Robert Pearlman

The crew of STS-135, NASA's final mission for its space shuttle program, pose in front of their spacecraft, space shuttle Atlantis on May 17, 2011. From left to right: mission specialist Rex Walheim, commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialist Sandra Magnus.

Shuttle Atlantis' Fuel Tank Nose Art

LMCO/collectSPACE

Lockheed Martin graphic artist Jon Irving displays the 'nose art' to be installed on the final space shuttle's external tank.

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