Final space shuttle launch set for July 8

May 20 2011 - 3:17pm

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The crew of space shuttle Atlantis, from left, mission specialist Rex Walheim, commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialist Sandy Mangus, greet NASA workers and members of the media as the shuttle makes its way from the Orbiter Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building to prepare for its final launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Tuesday, May 17, 2011. The final launch of Atlantis is targeted for mid-July. (AP Photo/Florida Today, Craig Rubadoux)
Space shuttle Atlantis makes its way from the Orbiter Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building to prepare for its final launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Tuesday, May 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Florida Today, Craig Rubadoux)
The crew of space shuttle Atlantis, from left, mission specialist Rex Walheim, commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialist Sandy Mangus, greet NASA workers and members of the media as the shuttle makes its way from the Orbiter Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building to prepare for its final launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Tuesday, May 17, 2011. The final launch of Atlantis is targeted for mid-July. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Space shuttle Atlantis is seen as workers prepare the orbiter to be lifted and attached to its external fuel tank and two solid rocket boosters in the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, May 18, 2011. Atlantis is targeted for a mid July launch.(AP Photo/John Raoux)
Space shuttle Atlantis is lifted to a vertical position to be attached to its external fuel tank and two solid rocket boosters in the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, May 18, 2011. Atlantis is targeted for a mid July launch.(AP Photo/John Raoux)
The crew of space shuttle Atlantis, from left, mission specialist Rex Walheim, commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialist Sandy Mangus, greet NASA workers and members of the media as the shuttle makes its way from the Orbiter Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building to prepare for its final launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Tuesday, May 17, 2011. The final launch of Atlantis is targeted for mid-July. (AP Photo/Florida Today, Craig Rubadoux)
Space shuttle Atlantis makes its way from the Orbiter Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building to prepare for its final launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Tuesday, May 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Florida Today, Craig Rubadoux)
The crew of space shuttle Atlantis, from left, mission specialist Rex Walheim, commander Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialist Sandy Mangus, greet NASA workers and members of the media as the shuttle makes its way from the Orbiter Processing Facility to the Vehicle Assembly Building to prepare for its final launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Tuesday, May 17, 2011. The final launch of Atlantis is targeted for mid-July. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Space shuttle Atlantis is seen as workers prepare the orbiter to be lifted and attached to its external fuel tank and two solid rocket boosters in the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, May 18, 2011. Atlantis is targeted for a mid July launch.(AP Photo/John Raoux)
Space shuttle Atlantis is lifted to a vertical position to be attached to its external fuel tank and two solid rocket boosters in the Vehicle Assembly Building at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Wednesday, May 18, 2011. Atlantis is targeted for a mid July launch.(AP Photo/John Raoux)

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The final launch of NASA's space shuttle program has been set for the morning of July 8.

NASA announced Friday morning that shuttle Atlantis is targeted for an 11:40 a.m. EDT launch July 8 from Kennedy Space Center. That is a Friday.

It will be the 135th and final launch of the 30-year space shuttle program.

The space shuttle Endeavour, which launched Monday on the penultimate mission, is currently docked at the International Space Station. It's due back on Earth June 1.

Atlantis is scheduled for a 12-day mission, largely to provide equipment and supplies to the space station and to conduct maintenance. After that launch, all space station activity will be supported by Russian rockets, or perhaps by private rockets.

(c) 2011, The Orlando Sentinel (Fla.).

Visit the Sentinel, www.orlandosentinel.com.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

 

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