The crew of STS-132, Space Shuttle Atlantis' 32nd and last (currently planned) mission, has launched into space and is heading to ISS. The all-veteran crew has a robust agenda for the 12-day mission, including delivery of a Russian-built research module and Progress docking port. 3 spacewalks are scheduled to provide maintenance and upgrades to ISS. The crew for today's flight includes:
Ken Ham - Commander
Tony Antonelli - Pilot
Garrett Reisman - Mission Specialist
Michael Good - Mission Specialist
Steve Bowen - Mission Specialist
Piers Sellers - Mission Specialist
Space Shuttle Atlantis had a string of achievements over the years, including launch of Magellan Probe to Venus, Galileo Probe to Jupiter, first Space Shuttle Mir Space Station docking, and final Hubble Space Telescope service mission. The Atlantis was named after a two-masted sailing ship operated by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute from 1930-1966.
UPDATE: NASA will use Atlantis as the rescue ship for the last Space Shuttle flight, and may request funding for another Atlantis mission next year! Watch for future updates on this story.
(Information and photo for this article provided by NASA)