Atlantis: Final Shuttle Launch

If you want to see Atlantis blast off, here's what you need to know.

Planning to attend the final launch of space shuttle Atlantis on Friday, or watch it on television?

First of all, if you are attending the launch, we'd like to hear from you—email Northeast Cobb Patch editor Julia Harris so we can talk to you for a possible story or so you can share photos with Northeast Cobb.

Here's what else you need to know:

Why watch?

It's a chance to see history. NASA is retiring its space shuttle program, to be replaced with a new space exploration program focused on sending astronauts to deep space and asteroids. STS-135 is the final space shuttle mission.

When is it?

Atlantis is scheduled to blast off at 11:26 a.m. today, but the time and date are always subject to change. As NASA likes to remind us, "Launching humans into space is a very complex business," and many different factors can cause a delay or postponement.

Where is it?

The shuttle takes off from Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, north-northwest of Cape Canaveral. That's on the east coast of Florida, just to the east of Orlando.

I can't attend in person. How else can I follow along?

Check out Patch before and after the launch for stories and photos from Kennedy Space Center and to hear from local people who are attending.

Most local TV news stations will show live coverage of the launch, but you can catch full coverage online at NASA TV.

You can also follow the live tweets from folks at the NASA Tweetup, a gathering of 150 Twitter fans who will share their experiences using the hashtag #NASATweetup.

And you can always look to the sky and try to catch a glimpse of the launch. If you know of any good spots around town for checking out a shuttle launch, let us know in the comments below.





Julia Harris July 08, 2011 at 03:52 PM
The last time I watched a live shuttle launch it was in English class circa 1986. Things did not go well that launch.


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