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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  In the Launch Pad 39A area, Mission STS-117 crew members receive instruction on emergency egress using the slidewire basket system during Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test activities. From left are Commander Rick Sturckow, Mission Specialist Patrick Forrester, Pilot Lee Archambault, and Mission Specialists Danny Olivas, Steven Swanson and James Reilly. The TCDT also includes M-113 armored personnel carrier 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 International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-07pd0491

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Launch Pad 39A area, Mission STS-117 crew members receive instruction on emergency egress using the slidewire basket system during Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test activities. From left are Commander Rick Sturckow, Mission Specialist Patrick Forrester, Pilot Lee Archambault, and Mission Specialists Danny Olivas, Steven Swanson and James Reilly. The TCDT also includes M-113 armored personnel carrier 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 International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-07pd0491

 
 
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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- In the Launch Pad 39A area, Mission STS-117 crew members receive instruction on emergency egress using the slidewire basket system during Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test activities. From left are Commander Rick Sturckow, Mission Specialist Patrick Forrester, Pilot Lee Archambault, and Mission Specialists Danny Olivas, Steven Swanson and James Reilly. The TCDT also includes M-113 armored personnel carrier 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 International Space 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

22/02/2007
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Kennedy Space Center, FL
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NASA
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