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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. --  Clouds of smoke and steam nearly obliterate the view of space shuttle Atlantis as it soars into the sky on mission STS-122.  Liftoff was on time at 2:45 p.m. EST. This is the third launch attempt for Atlantis since December 2007 to carry the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory to the International Space Station.  During the 11-day mission, the crew's prime objective is to attach the laboratory to the Harmony module, adding to the station's size and capabilities.   Photo credit: NASA/NASA/Rick Wetherington, Tim Terry, Tim Powers KSC-08pp-0291

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Clouds of smoke and steam nearly obliterate the view of space shuttle Atlantis as it soars into the sky on mission STS-122. Liftoff was on time at 2:45 p.m. EST. This is the third launch attempt for Atlantis since December 2007 to carry the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory to the International Space Station. During the 11-day mission, the crew's prime objective is to attach the laboratory to the Harmony module, adding to the station's size and capabilities. Photo credit: NASA/NASA/Rick Wetherington, Tim Terry, Tim Powers KSC-08pp-0291

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Summary

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FLA. -- Clouds of smoke and steam nearly obliterate the view of space shuttle Atlantis as it soars into the sky on mission STS-122. Liftoff was on time at 2:45 p.m. EST. This is the third launch attempt for Atlantis since December 2007 to carry the European Space Agency's Columbus laboratory to the International Space Station. During the 11-day mission, the crew's prime objective is to attach the laboratory to the Harmony module, adding to the station's size and capabilities. Photo credit: NASA/NASA/Rick Wetherington, Tim Terry, Tim Powers

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

07/02/2008
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place

Location

Kennedy Space Center, FL
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Source

NASA
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Exploreeuropean space agency

Exploreharmony

Exploresmoke