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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Like a phoenix rising from the flames, space shuttle Atlantis emerges from the exhaust cloud building on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.     Liftoff on its STS-129 mission came at 2:28 p.m. EST Nov. 16.  Aboard are crew members Commander Charles O. Hobaugh; Pilot Barry E. Wilmore; and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Randy Bresnik, Mike Foreman and Robert L. Satcher Jr.  On STS-129, the crew will deliver two ExPRESS Logistics Carriers to the International Space Station, the largest of the shuttle's cargo carriers, containing 15 spare pieces of equipment including two gyroscopes, two nitrogen tank assemblies, two pump modules, an ammonia tank assembly and a spare latching end effector for the station's robotic arm.  Atlantis will return to Earth a station crew member, Nicole Stott, who has spent more than two months aboard the orbiting laboratory.  STS-129 is slated to be the final space shuttle Expedition crew rotation flight. For information on the STS-129 mission and crew, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts129/index.html.    Photo credit: NASA/Sandra Joseph and Kevin O'Connell KSC-2009-6380

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Like a phoenix rising from the flames, space shuttle Atlantis emerges from the exhaust cloud building on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff on its STS-129 mission came at 2:28 p.m. EST Nov. 16. Aboard are crew members Commander Charles O. Hobaugh; Pilot Barry E. Wilmore; and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Randy Bresnik, Mike Foreman and Robert L. Satcher Jr. On STS-129, the crew will deliver two ExPRESS Logistics Carriers to the International Space Station, the largest of the shuttle's cargo carriers, containing 15 spare pieces of equipment including two gyroscopes, two nitrogen tank assemblies, two pump modules, an ammonia tank assembly and a spare latching end effector for the station's robotic arm. Atlantis will return to Earth a station crew member, Nicole Stott, who has spent more than two months aboard the orbiting laboratory. STS-129 is slated to be the final space shuttle Expedition crew rotation flight. For information on the STS-129 mission and crew, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts129/index.html. Photo credit: NASA/Sandra Joseph and Kevin O'Connell KSC-2009-6380

 
 
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Like a phoenix rising from the flames, space shuttle Atlantis emerges from the exhaust cloud building on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff on its STS-129 mission came at 2:28 p.m. EST Nov. 16. Aboard are crew members Commander Charles O. Hobaugh; Pilot Barry E. Wilmore; and Mission Specialists Leland Melvin, Randy Bresnik, Mike Foreman and Robert L. Satcher Jr. On STS-129, the crew will deliver two ExPRESS Logistics Carriers to the International Space Station, the largest of the shuttle's cargo carriers, containing 15 spare pieces of equipment including two gyroscopes, two nitrogen tank assemblies, two pump modules, an ammonia tank assembly and a spare latching end effector for the station's robotic arm. Atlantis will return to Earth a station crew member, Nicole Stott, who has spent more than two months aboard the orbiting laboratory. STS-129 is slated to be the final space shuttle Expedition crew rotation flight. For information on the STS-129 mission and crew, visit http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts129/index.html. Photo credit: NASA/Sandra Joseph and Kevin O'Connell

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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16/11/2009
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Kennedy Space Center, FL
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NASA
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