Last flight of Atlantis

Space shuttle scheduled for 2:20 PM ET launch.

Watch live in HD here.

UPDATE: Great photo gallery here.

Comments

  1. They’ve had an M-113 there since the Gemini missions. The Gemini and Apollo complex had these massive slides that extended from the top of the gantry near the capsule to a bunker with the M-113 parked inside, with a driver standing by and the engine running.

    Theoretically, the crew would pop the hatch, run to the slide, and slide down to right behind the vehicle’s ramp. They’d jump inside, and the vehicle would drive off while the ramp was coming up.

    In real life, everyone knew that the odds of just getting to the vehicle were pretty remote. It would be preferable to activate the escape rocket on top of the Apollo. The Gemini, though, didn’t have that option.

    Most crews simply accepted that any sort of situation on the pad, or during ascent would be unsurvivable.

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