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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Former astronaut Al Worden talks to members of the diplomatic corps, who toured various facilities around Kennedy. The visit, one of the largest tours undertaken by the diplomatic corps, is part of the State Department's new Experience America program. The international dignitaries were provided an overview of the United States' space exploration programs and NASA's international cooperation in pursuit of exploration and scientific discovery. They visited various locations at Kennedy, including the Space Station Processing Facility and Launch Pad 39A where space shuttle Atlantis is being prepared for its upcoming mission to the International Space Station.   Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-08pd0102

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Former astronaut Al Worden talks to members of the diplomatic corps, who toured various facilities around Kennedy. The visit, one of the largest tours undertaken by the diplomatic corps, is part of the State Department's new Experience America program. The international dignitaries were provided an overview of the United States' space exploration programs and NASA's international cooperation in pursuit of exploration and scientific discovery. They visited various locations at Kennedy, including the Space Station Processing Facility and Launch Pad 39A where space shuttle Atlantis is being prepared for its upcoming mission to the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett KSC-08pd0102

 
 
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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Former astronaut Al Worden talks to members of the diplomatic corps, who toured various facilities around Kennedy. The visit, one of the largest tours undertaken by the diplomatic corps, is part of the State Department's new Experience America program. The international dignitaries were provided an overview of the United States' space exploration programs and NASA's international cooperation in pursuit of exploration and scientific discovery. They visited various locations at Kennedy, including the Space Station Processing Facility and Launch Pad 39A where space shuttle Atlantis is being prepared for its upcoming mission to 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

31/01/2008
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Kennedy Space Center, FL
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NASA
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