History was made on July 8th as NASA launched its last space shuttle ever. Over 400 visitors and MiaSci summer camp attendees gathered in the Museum’s Planetarium and Theater to watch Atlantis blast off from Kennedy Space Center on Friday. “The Planetarium came alive as the shuttle launched. It was a great place to watch and share this historic moment with so many of our visitors,” said Mark Bennett, Miami Science Museum Planetarium & Visitor Services Manager. “I hope this experience inspires children to reach for the stars and become astronauts one day.”
Four veteran astronauts, Commander Christopher Ferguson, co-pilot Douglas Hurley, and Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Sandra Magnus, are aboard Atlantis for this grand finale. This launch marks the 135th shuttle flight since NASA launched its first shuttle 30 years ago. The STS-135 is a 12-day mission to the International Space Station to transfer a year’s worth of food and other provisions to keep the station well stocked and provide robotic-arm support for a spacewalk by two space station astronauts.
Atlantis is expected to land on July 20, 2011 after completing its mission. Fun fact: The astronauts took an iPhone into orbit marking the first time an iPhone has left earth. Talk about roaming!
There will be five different opportunities to spot the shuttle from the ground in Miami with your naked eye between July 19th and July 23rd! For a detailed list of sighting opportunities, click here: Satellite Sighting Information
Get up-to-date information about NASA’s Atlantis mission here: Latest Shuttle News