Space Shuttle Atlantis Facts for Kids

space shuttle atlantis facts

Space Shuttle Atlantis (Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV‑104) is a Space Shuttle orbiter vehicle belonging to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the spaceflight and space exploration agency of the United States. Constructed by the Rockwell International company in Southern California and delivered to the Kennedy Space Center in Eastern Florida in April 1985, Atlantis is the fourth operational and the second-to-last Space Shuttle built. Its maiden flight was STS-51-J from 3 to 7 October 1985.

Atlantis embarked on its 33rd and final mission, also the final mission of a space shuttle, STS-135, on 8 July 2011. STS-134 by Endeavour was expected to be the final flight before STS-135 was authorized in October 2010. STS-135 took advantage of the processing for the STS-335 Launch on Need mission that would have been necessary if STS-134’s crew became stranded in orbit. Atlantis landed for the final time at the Kennedy Space Center on 21 July 2011.

A sunset over a bridge

By the end of its final mission, Atlantis had orbited the Earth a total of 4,848 times, traveling nearly 126,000,000 mi (203,000,000 km) or more than 525 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon.

Atlantis is named after RV Atlantis, a two-masted sailing ship that operated as the primary research vessel for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from 1930 to 1966.

How many times has the shuttle Atlantis flown?

A view of a bridge

A total of 156 individuals flew with Space Shuttle Atlantis over the course of its 33 missions. Because the shuttle sometimes flew crew members arriving and departing Mir and the ISS, not all of them launched and landed on Atlantis.

What was the purpose of the Atlantis space shuttle?

Atlantis: Last Space Shuttle Launch. Atlantis was the fourth shuttle constructed and the last one to fly into space. It performed well in 25 years of service, flying 33 missions that included secret missions for the U.S. military, ferrying astronauts to and from space stations and launching several probes.

Where did Atlantis shuttle go?

Space shuttle Atlantis rollover to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in 2012. Space shuttle Atlantis on Launch Pad 39A for STS-135, the final flight of the shuttle program.

When was Atlantis the fourth US shuttle launched?

At the time of its launch on April 5, 1991, Compton, at 17 tons, was the heaviest astrophysical payload ever flown aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis. STS-135/Atlantis was the final space shuttle mission and took place July 8-21, 2011.

When was the last person sent to space?


The last space shuttle launch in 2011 marked the last time an astronaut was launched into space by NASA. The agency was facing issues with parts obsolescence through the shuttle space program.

How much did space shuttle Atlantis cost?

19,600 crores USD (2011)

With 135 missions, and the total cost of US$192 billion (in 2010 dollars), this gives approximately $1.5 billion per launch over the life of the Shuttle program.

These are some interesting facts on the Space Shuttle Atlantis.

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