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Space Shuttle Atlantis facts for kids

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STS132 Atlantis undocking2 (cropped).jpg
Atlantis in orbit in 2010, during STS-132
OV designation OV-104
Country United States
Contract award 29 January 1979
Named after RV Atlantis
Status Retired. Displayed at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.
First flight STS-51-J
3–7 October 1985
Last flight STS-135
8–21 July 2011
No. of missions 33
Crew members 207
Time spent in space 306 days, 14 hours, 12 minutes, 43 seconds as of STS-135
No. of orbits 4,848
Distance travelled 125,935,769 miles (202,673,974 km) as of STS-135
Satellites deployed 14
Mir dockings 7
ISS dockings 12

Space Shuttle Atlantis (Orbiter Vehicle Designation: OV‑104) is a Space Shuttle orbiter vehicle belonging to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the spaceflight and space exploration agency of the United States. Constructed by the Rockwell International company in Southern California and delivered to the Kennedy Space Center in Eastern Florida in April 1985, Atlantis is the fourth operational and the second-to-last Space Shuttle built. Its maiden flight was STS-51-J from 3 to 7 October 1985.

Atlantis embarked on its 33rd and final mission, also the final mission of a space shuttle, STS-135, on 8 July 2011. STS-134 by Endeavour was expected to be the final flight before STS-135 was authorized in October 2010. STS-135 took advantage of the processing for the STS-335 Launch on Need mission that would have been necessary if STS-134's crew became stranded in orbit. Atlantis landed for the final time at the Kennedy Space Center on 21 July 2011.

By the end of its final mission, Atlantis had orbited the Earth a total of 4,848 times, traveling nearly 126,000,000 mi (203,000,000 km) or more than 525 times the distance from the Earth to the Moon.

Atlantis is named after RV Atlantis, a two-masted sailing ship that operated as the primary research vessel for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from 1930 to 1966.

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