Today ends 30 years of service for NASA's fleet of space shuttles. The last space shuttle Altantis which has already had 9 successful flights. was going to be decommissioned in 2008 but on inspection was given clearance to continue missions. The first space shuttle, Columbia launched 12th Aprtil 1981.
At 9 July 2011 Space Shuttle Atlantis will embark on her final space mission. The Kennedy Space Center iCape Canaveral launch is scheduled for 11.26 am ET. The crew are on a 12 day mission to deliver supplies, parts and a docking module to the the International Space Station (ISS). The shuttle will also be taking the first iPhone into orbit.
Atlantis flight STS 135 has a crew of 4 - Commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley, mission specialistists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim.
Altlantis first flight was 3rd October 1985, her last will be the 33rd flight. The final mission of NASA's Space Shuttle Program will be the 135th mission.
Altlantis is due to land back on Earth JUly 20th 2011 at 7.06 am