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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- STS117-S-002 (May 2007) --- These seven astronauts take a break from training to pose for the STS-117 crew portrait. Scheduled to launch aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis are (from the left) astronauts Clayton C. Anderson, James F. Reilly II, Steven R. Swanson, mission specialists; Frederick W. (Rick) Sturckow, commander; Lee J. Archambault, pilot; Patrick G. Forrester and John D. (Danny) Olivas, mission specialists. Anderson will join Expedition 15 in progress to serve as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station. The crewmembers are attired in training versions of their shuttle launch and entry suits. KSC-07pd1262

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- STS117-S-002 (May 2007) --- These seven astronauts take a break from training to pose for the STS-117 crew portrait. Scheduled to launch aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis are (from the left) astronauts Clayton C. Anderson, James F. Reilly II, Steven R. Swanson, mission specialists; Frederick W. (Rick) Sturckow, commander; Lee J. Archambault, pilot; Patrick G. Forrester and John D. (Danny) Olivas, mission specialists. Anderson will join Expedition 15 in progress to serve as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station. The crewmembers are attired in training versions of their shuttle launch and entry suits. KSC-07pd1262

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- STS117-S-002 (May 2007) --- These seven astronauts take a break from training to pose for the STS-117 crew portrait. Scheduled to launch aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis are (from the left) astronauts Clayton C. Anderson, James F. Reilly II, Steven R. Swanson, mission specialists; Frederick W. (Rick) Sturckow, commander; Lee J. Archambault, pilot; Patrick G. Forrester and John D. (Danny) Olivas, mission specialists. Anderson will join Expedition 15 in progress to serve as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station. The crewmembers are attired in training versions of their shuttle launch and entry suits.

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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01/05/2007
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Kennedy Space Center, FL
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NASA
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