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Notes from the Ground: A Visit to the Launch Pad

Atlantis Launch Notes: July 7, 6:00 P.M. KENNEDY SPACE CENTER—At T-11 hours and holding all day (as usual, a planned halt). Just got back from the launch pad—and just in time, seems lightning hit within a third of a mile from the shuttle. Mother Nature is stealing the show. It is getting crowded around here. [...]

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The space shuttle’s final flight, and Scientific American will be there

If Atlantis were lifting off on any other flight, its space station resupply mission would be considered routine at best, mundane at worst. No doubt, it would be given only cursory coverage by the mainstream media. But when the solid boosters ignite and STS 135 carries four astronauts into orbit (scheduled for July 8, 11:26 [...]

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