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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Last Space Shuttle to Fly Headed for Launch Pad Tonight

 The space shuttle Atlantis will make one final trip to its Florida launch pad tonight (May 31) as NASA prepares the orbiter to launch the last mission of its 30-year shuttle program on July 8.

The shuttle's rollout, set for 8 p.m. EDT (0000 GMT Wednesday), also comes on the eve of the final landing of Atlantis' sister orbiter, Endeavour. Endeavour is slated to return to Earth at 2:35 a.m. EDT (0635 GMT) on June 1, carrying six astronauts home after a 16-day mission to the International Space Station.

Both Endeavour's landing, and Atlantis' rollout, will take place at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. The rare confluence of the two milestone events is expected to draw several thousand employees and reporters as spectators.

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