ROADTRIP TO FLORIDA! In my case, it's actually... back home to Florida, since I used to live there many years ago. And from what I understand, I am one of the very, very few people who actually misses the humidity.
Photo by Epic Squisher, Michael Grabois
Once again, I'll have the pleasure of participating in a NASA Tweetup, so if you aren't able to visit one of the other centers hosting events, such as Johnson Space Center or Ames Research Center, join me on Twitter to follow the fun!
Bittersweetly, the NASA Launch Schedule now reflects the official estimated date of the very last liftoff of the Space Shuttle program, in operation since 1981:
Date: July 8
Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Atlantis
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center - Launch Pad 39A
Launch Time: 11:26 a.m. EDT
Description: Space shuttle Atlantis will carry the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module to deliver supplies, logistics and spare parts to the International Space Station. Atlantis also will fly a system to investigate the potential for robotically refueling existing spacecraft and return a failed ammonia pump module.
This final mission will mark the 135th flight of the Space Shuttle Orbiter, the 37th Shuttle trip to the ISS, and the 166th American manned launch.
When Atlantis returns home on July 2oth -- incidentally, the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing -- she will be made museum-ready, and forever after on display at the Kennedy Space Center.
Stay tuned for updates on my 5,000+ mile road trip this summer, following me here for pictures and events, and @Pillownaut on Twitter for daily commentary. For all of the people at the NASA Tweetup, follow @NASAKennedy and @NASATweetup.
The all-American, all-veteran crew of this final Shuttle trip to the International Space Station all have Twitter accounts, so you can follow the astronauts too!
Commander Chris Ferguson: @Astro_Ferg
Pilot Doug Hurley: @Astro_Doug
Mission Specialist Sandra Magnus: @Astro_Sandy
Mission Specialist Rex Walheim: @Astro_Rex