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Space Shuttle Atlantis

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Space Shuttles

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Shuttle Orbiter Atlantis (NASA Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV-104) is one of five NASA space shuttles. It was the fourth shuttle built and as of 2003 is one of the three shuttles remaining in the fleet.

Atlantis was named in honor of the first United States oceanographic research vessel, a two-masted sailing ship operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from 1930 to 1966.

As the fourth shuttle, Atlantis benefited from experience gained in the construction of its predecessors. On roll-out it weighed nearly 7,000 lb (3 t) less than the first operational shuttle, Columbia, and required about half the time to be built. Structural spare parts also built along with Atlantis were used in the later construction of the fifth shuttle, Endeavour.

Shuttle orbiter Atlantis landing in 1997
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Shuttle orbiter Atlantis landing in 1997

Atlantis made its first flight in October 1985, conducting classified military activities, one of five such flights. In 1989 Atlantis deployed two planetary probes, Magellan and Galileo, and in 1991 it deployed the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.

Beginning in 1995, Atlantis made seven straight flights to the Russian space station Mir. On the second Mir flight it delivered a docking module and on the subsequent flights it conducted astronaut exchanges.

From November 1997 to July 1999, Atlantis underwent refitting operations, with about 165 modifications made to the shuttle. It has made six flights since then, all involving assembly activities at the International Space Station.

In its most recent flight, in October 2002, Atlantis and its six-person crew completed an 11-day mission to the International Space Station that involved three space walks.

Flights

Space Shuttle Atlantis has flown 26 flights, spent 220.40-days in space, completed 3,468 orbits, and flown 89,908,732 miles in total, as of February 2003.

Date Designation Notes
1985 October 3 STS-51-J Mission dedicated to Department of Defense
1985 November 26 STS-61-B 3 communications satellites deployed: MORELOS-B, AUSSAT-2 and SATCOM KU-2.
1988 December 2 STS-27 Mission dedicated to Department of Defense
1989 May 4 STS-30 Deployed Magellan probe
1989 October 18 STS-34 Deployed Galileo probe
1990 February 28 STS-36 Mission dedicated to Department of Defense
1990 November 15 STS-38 Mission dedicated to Department of Defense
1991 April 5 STS-37 Deployed Compton Gamma Ray Observatory
1991 August 2 STS-43 Deployed TDRS-5
1991 November 24 STS-44 Mission dedicated to Department of Defense
1992 March 24 STS-45 Carried Atmospheric Laboratory for Applications and Science (ATLAS) mission 1
1992 July 31 STS-46 Deployed ESA European Retrievable Carrier and NASA Tethered Satellite System
1994 November 3 STS-66 Carried ATLAS mission 3
1995 June 27 STS-71 First shuttle docking with space station Mir
1995 November 12 STS-74 Carried docking module to Mir
1996 March 22 STS-76 Rendezvous with Mir, including crew transfer of Shannon Lucid
1996 September 16 STS-79 Rendezvous with Mir, including crew transfer of Shannon Lucid and John Blaha
1997 January 12 STS-81 Rendezvous with Mir, including crew transfer of John Blaha and Jerry Linenger
1997 May 15 STS-84 Rendezvous with Mir, including crew transfer of Jerry Linenger and Michael Foale
1997 September 25 STS-86 Rendezvous with Mir, including crew transfer of Michael Foale and David A. Wolf
2000 May 19 STS-101 International Space Station assembly mission
2000 September 8 STS-106 International Space Station assembly mission
2001 February 7 STS-98 International Space Station assembly mission
2001 July 12 STS-104 International Space Station assembly mission
2002 April 8 STS-110 International Space Station assembly mission
2002 October 7 STS-112 International Space Station assembly mission

See also

External links

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