Last Shuttle launch scheduled for today

The Shuttle Atlantis will lift off from the Kennedy Space Center this morning - the last Shuttle mission and the last US manned mission for many years: For tens of thousands of past and present shuttle workers, including more than 3,000 expecting layoffs July 22, the traditional "wheels stopped" call when the space shuttle Atlantis returns to Earth will signal the end of an era. Atlantis is scheduled to take off at 11:26 a.m. ET today, weather permitting, on NASA's final shuttle mission after three decades and more than 130 flights, with a landing at the Kennedy Space Center set for July 20. "After the wheels have stopped and the displays go blank and the orbiter is unpowered for the final time...there will be a rush of emotion when we all finally realize that's it, that it's all over, the crowning jewel of our space program, the way we got back and forth from low-Earth orbit for 30 years...we'll realize that's all over," said shuttle commander Christopher Ferguson. "That's going to...(Read Full Post)