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L

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T minus 20 minutes and holding

The launch window extends from 15:21:46 to 15:31:19 GMT



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Weather conditions are currently 'no go' for launch



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Last Space Shuttle mission ready for launch
 
If weather permits, history will be made this evening when Space Shuttle Atlantis ignites its engines and rises from the launch pad to begin the last flight of the programme. Twelve days later, the crew of four will steer the venerable space workhorse back to Earth and into retirement.
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Final Nasa shuttle flight haunts Florida



Florida mourns the end of Nasa's space shuttle programme that will cause the loss of at least 7,000 jobs.



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All Systems "Go" for Atlantis Launch



Mike Moses, Mission Management Team chair & Space Shuttle Launch Integration manager, is joined by Mike Leinbach, shuttle launch director, and Kathy Winters, shuttle weather officer, at the STS-135 Prelaunch News Conference.



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Final space shuttle to carry five CU-Boulder-built payloads

The University of Colorado Boulder is involved with five different space science payloads ranging from antibody tests that may lead to new bone-loss treatments to an experiment to improve vaccine effectiveness for combating salmonella when Atlantis thunders skyward July 8 on the last of NASA's 135 space shuttle missions.
One experiment, sponsored by the global pharmaceutical companies Amgen and UCB, will test an antibody to sclerostin -- a protein that has a negative effect on bone formation, mass and strength -- on lab mice flying on the shuttle. Researchers on the project hope the sclerostin antibody treatment will inhibit the action of sclerostin.
The research team hopes the findings may lead to potential therapeutic treatments for astronauts, who suffer significant bone loss during spaceflight, especially on long-term missions. They also might provide insight for future research in the prevention and treatment of skeletal fragility that may be caused by stroke, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spinal cord injury and reduced physical activity. Amgen is headquartered in Thousand Oaks, Calif., while UCB is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium.

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Storms could spoil shuttle Atlantis launch

The countdown to Friday's final launch of a space shuttle has begun at the Kennedy Space Centre (KSC).
But the famous clock in front of the spaceport's press centre may struggle to get all the way down to zero.
Forecasters say showers and even storms will be over Florida's Space Coast by the week's end.

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Final Shuttle Crew Arrives at Kennedy for Launch



The four astronauts for the final space shuttle mission arrived on July 4 at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre, Fla., for their prelaunch preparations. Liftoff of shuttle Atlantis' STS-135 mission to the International Space Station is scheduled for 11:26 a.m. on July 8. After arriving at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility, Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim addressed media in attendance. The crew will deliver to the station the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module filled with supplies and spare parts that will sustain station operations once the shuttles are retired following this mission.



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Final Shuttle Mission Detailed for Reporters



At NASA's Kennedy Space Centre, STS-135 managers brief media members on the final mission of the Space Shuttle Program, the 12-day flight of Atlantis and her four-member crew to the International Space Station.



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The last launch of a US space shuttle will take place on Friday 8 July.
The Atlantis ship has the honour of closing out the 30-year orbiter programme and will lift off at 11:26 Florida time (15:26 GMT).
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line the roads and beaches around the Kennedy Space Centre, all eager to witness a piece of history.

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