NASA Announces Launch Schedule for Remaining Shuttle Missions

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This week, NASA announced the schedule for the last remaining space shuttle launches. Barring major delays, the aging shuttle fleet is scheduled to be retired before the end of the 2010 fiscal year. A brief description of the final ten missions are as follows:

Oct. 8, 2008 – Atlantis (STS-125)
The final service mission to the Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

Nov. 10, 2008 – Endeavour’s (STS-126 / ULF-2)
Supply the International Space Station (ISS) and service both Solar Alpha Rotary Joints

Feb. 12, 2009 – Discovery (STS-119 / 15A)
Install the final pair of Solar Arrays to the ISS

May 15, 2009 – Endeavour (STS-127 / 2JA)
Install the Japanese Kibo Laboratory’s Exposed Facility and the Experiment Logistics Module Exposed Section

July 30, 2009 – Atlantis (STS-128 / 17A)
Deliver science and storage racks to the ISS and return an empty ammonia tank assembly

Oct. 15,2009 – Discovery (STS-129 / ULF-3)
Stage spare components outside the station, including two spare gyroscopes, two nitrogen tank assemblies, two pump modules, an ammonia tank assembly, a spare latching end effector for the station’s robotic arm, a spare trailing umbilical system for the Mobile Transporter and a high-pressure gas tank

Dec. 10, 2009 – Endeavour (STS-130 / 20A)
Deliver Connecting Node 3 and the Cupola, a robotic control station that provides a 360-degree view around the ISS

Feb. 11, 2010 – Atlantis (STS-131 / 19A)
Install science racks to the ISS and attach a spare ammonia tank assembly outside the station

April 8, 2010 – Discovery’s (STS-132 / ULF-4)
Deliver maintenance and assembly hardware, the second Russian Mini Research Module, a boom assembly for the Ku-band antenna and spares for the Canadian Dextre robotic arm extension

May 31, 2010 – Endeavour (STS-133 / ULF-5)
Install two S-band communications antennas, a high-pressure gas tank, additional spare parts for Dextre and micrometeoroid debris shields

After the shuttle program is completed, no more large sections will be added to the International Space Station, nor will the Hubble Space Telescope be scheduled for any additional service. The HST is due to be replaced by the James Web Space Telescope in 2013.  Supply missions to the ISS will be performed by both Russian and European Space Agency rockets until NASA’s new Ares launch vehicles come online in 2015.

For more details on upcoming shuttle missions and their crews, visit the NASA website at http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle.

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