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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The STS-117 crew arrives at NASA's Kennedy Space Center to take part in the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT), a preparation for the launch March 15 to the International Space Station. Atlantis (OV104) Flow Director Angela Brewer greets Pilot Lee Archambault after he arrives at the Shuttle Landing Facility. The TCDT includes emergency egress training and a simulated launch countdown. The mission payload aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis is the S3/S4 integrated truss structure, along with a third set of solar arrays and batteries. The crew of six astronauts will install the truss to continue assembly of the station.  Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-07pd0459

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The STS-117 crew arrives at NASA's Kennedy Space Center to take part in the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT), a preparation for the launch March 15 to the International Space Station. Atlantis (OV104) Flow Director Angela Brewer greets Pilot Lee Archambault after he arrives at the Shuttle Landing Facility. The TCDT includes emergency egress training and a simulated launch countdown. The mission payload aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis is the S3/S4 integrated truss structure, along with a third set of solar arrays and batteries. The crew of six astronauts will install the truss to continue assembly of the station. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-07pd0459

 
 
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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- The STS-117 crew arrives at NASA's Kennedy Space Center to take part in the Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT), a preparation for the launch March 15 to the International Space Station. Atlantis (OV104) Flow Director Angela Brewer greets Pilot Lee Archambault after he arrives at the Shuttle Landing Facility. The TCDT includes emergency egress training and a simulated launch countdown. The mission payload aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis is the S3/S4 integrated truss structure, along with a third set of solar arrays and batteries. The crew of six astronauts will install the truss to continue assembly of the station. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

The Space Shuttle program was the United States government's manned launch vehicle program from 1981 to 2011, administered by NASA and officially beginning in 1972. The Space Shuttle system—composed of an orbiter launched with two reusable solid rocket boosters and a disposable external fuel tank— carried up to eight astronauts and up to 50,000 lb (23,000 kg) of payload into low Earth orbit (LEO). When its mission was complete, the orbiter would re-enter the Earth's atmosphere and lands as a glider. Although the concept had been explored since the late 1960s, the program formally commenced in 1972 and was the focus of NASA's manned operations after the final Apollo and Skylab flights in the mid-1970s. It started with the launch of the first shuttle Columbia on April 12, 1981, on STS-1. and finished with its last mission, STS-135 flown by Atlantis, in July 2011.

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Date

21/02/2007
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Kennedy Space Center, FL
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NASA
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