Since NASA launched the space shuttle
program in 1981, it is the 135th space shuttle
mission and 33rd for Atlantis, which made its maiden flight in 1985, and the 37th docking of a shuttle at the space station.
The space shuttle
launched at approximately 11:26 am and reached orbit 16 minutes later.
The Space Shuttle
will deliver science equipment and supplies that will allow astronauts to better study Earth.
Fullerton, 70, associate director of flight operations at NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, recalled two famous ships called Columbia: the space shuttle
that he piloted on its third mission in 1982 and the sailing ship Columbia, the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe in 1790 and the one that discovered the Columbia River two years later.
While NASA recognizes the importance of sustaining a critically skilled workforce to support space shuttle
operations, it has made limited progress toward developing a detailed long-term strategy to do so.
Then, in April, ME Global's castings were used to bring the entire space shuttle
Discovery assembly to launch pad 39B, where it rests until its ascension into space this summer.
This is the first space shuttle
launch in more than two years.
That's in stark contrast to the blunt features of the space shuttle
, whose broad, flat underbelly--designed to distribute the heat of reentry over a large area--is anything but sleek.
It is impractical for the multitude of contractors whose expertise supports the space shuttle
program to maintain a constant physical presence at the Space Center.
In this role, Myers implements and manages program/project safety initiatives to fully understand government and contractor activities, and to assist in safety decision-making; reviews and manages government contracts to ensure safety requirements and procedures are being met for Space Shuttle
Program; and assures safe and reliable Shuttle processing and provides support for Launch and Landing activities.
Already the next space shuttle
, Atlantis, is preparing for the next journey in August.
The Space Shuttle
Program has made limited progress toward developing a detailed long-term strategy for sustaining its workforce through the space shuttle