The Last Space Shuttle Mission: Flight Day 7

When Space Shuttle Atlantis left Launch Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on Friday, July 8, it marked the final liftoff for the long-running Space Shuttle Program, which has dominated NASA's manned operations for the past four decades. Over a 12-day mission (since extended to 13 days), the four-person crew on STS-135 will haul the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) Raffaello and a Lightweight Multi-Purpose Carrier (LMC) to the International Space Station. Over the course of the mission, we'll be providing daily updates.

After a long day spent transferring equipment out of the Raffaello module yesterday, the combined crews onboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the International Space Station were in bed by 5:29 p.m. EDT at the latest (it's was lights-out for the four-person Atlantis crew half an hour earlier at 4:59 p.m. EDT).

Story continues after the gallery, which will be updated as the mission wears on.

At 1:29 a.m. EDT, the wakeup song of flight day 7 started playing. The astronauts were roused by Michael Stipe's "Man on the Moon," which was followed by a special message prerecorded by Stipe of R.E.M. fame. "Good morning, Atlantis," Stipe said. "This is Michael Stipe from R.E.M. We wish you much success on your mission and thank all the women and men at NASA who have worked on the shuttle for three decades. From Earth, a very good morning to you."

NASA provided even more information from Stipe for interested parties: "I recorded 'Man on the Moon' for NASA in Venice, Italy, where Galileo first presented to the Venician government his eight-power telescope, and in 1610 wrote 'The Starry Messenger' (Sidereus Nuncius), an account of his early astronomical discoveries that altered forever our view of our place in the universe."

After getting about halfway through the process of transferring all of the supplies and equipment out of the Raffaello multi-purpose module and into the International Space Station, the crews spent time fielding questions from reporters. Once they were finished with that, the astronauts were given the rest of the afternoon off before bedtime at 3:59 p.m. EDT for the Station crew and 4:29 p.m. for the Shuttle crew.

Read more reports from the final Space Shuttle mission: Flight Day 4Flight Day 5 and Flight Day 6.

Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Technology

Just In