NASA space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to liftoff on the final mission of the shuttle program, STS-135, a 12-day program to the International Space Station on July 8 at 11:26 am EDT.
Atlantis, which flew its maiden voyage on October 3, 1985 on the STS-51-J mission, will carry a crew of four for its STS-135 mission: Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim.
Meanwhile, the four astronauts arrived in two T-38 jets at NASA Kennedy Space Center's Shuttle Landing Facility at about 2:30 pm EDT on the fourth of July.
The crew spoke to media before being transported to the Astronaut Crew Quarters in Kennedy's Operations and Checkout Building, where they will spend the next few days training and spend time with family before liftoff.
I think I speak for the whole crew in that we are delighted to be here after a very arduous nine month training flow and we're thrilled to finally be here in Florida for launch week, Commander Chris Ferguson said.
The shuttle will deliver the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) to the International Space Station. The RRM is an experiment designed to demonstrate and test the tools, technologies and techniques needed to robotically refuel satellites in space, even satellites not designed to be serviced.
The mission will also fly the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module filled with supplies and spare parts to sustain the station's operations once the shuttles are retired, during STS-135, which is the last planned space shuttle mission since STS-1.
While coming back from the station, the crew will carry back the recently failed ammonia pump module for NASA to better understand the failure mechanism and improve pump designs for future systems.
STS-135 will be the 33rd flight of Atlantis, the 37th shuttle mission to the space station, and the 135th and final mission of NASA's Space Shuttle Program.
Take a glimpse of space shuttle Atlantis' crew after arriving at Kennedy Space Station: