SPACE SHUTTLE LIFTOFF TODAY _ NASA has cleared space shuttle Atlantis for liftoff today (Monday, 2:28pm EST) on a trip to stock up the International Space Station with several years’ worth of spare parts. Atlantis will deliver nearly 30,000 pounds of pumps, storage tanks, gyroscopes and other spare parts, along with six astronauts who will unload everything. The goal is to take up as many large parts as possible, to keep the space station running for five to 10 years after the shuttle program ends next fall. Some of the pieces are too big to fit in any other spacecraft.
… Only six shuttle missions remain, including this one.