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Space Shuttle Atlantis

Bestselling Learn Guitar on Android! It's the end of an era. The historic — and bittersweet — last NASA space shuttle launch is scheduled for Friday, July 8 2011, but due to weather may be pushed to Saturday or Sunday. The beginning of the end of the 30-year-old Shuttle Program came in 2004, when George W. Bush announced the end of the program. Atlantis will be manned by four astronauts headed to the International Space Station with a load of supplies. While NASA's budget constitutes only less than half of 1% of the federal budget, the cost of sending people into space is enormous, and NASA is unable to afford to keep the shuttle flying while also developing the next spacecraft. So after 135 flights, when Atlantis touches down on Earth, the shuttle program will end. While NASA develops new vehicles for further space exploration, the U.S. will pay Russia $63 millon per astronaut to hitch rides to and from the space station.
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