History was made today as the shuttle Atlantis lifted off on the final flight of NASA’s Space Shuttle program. Thirty years after the first shuttle launch, the eyes of the world again were on Kennedy Space Center as an unforgettable period of science, wonder and imagination has come to an end. Upon its return to Earth, Atlantis will join the fleet’s other three vessels in retirement immediately following touchdown. In celebration of this awe-inspiring moment, SCIENCE presents the world premiere special event, LAST SHUTTLE: OUR JOURNEY on TONIGHT at 10 PM (ET/PT). The all-access special, one year in the making, also will feature same-day footage of the launch, filmed from Kennedy Space Center.
As the sun sets on the shuttle program, it marks the end of a way of life for a generation of NASA staff whose lives have largely revolved around these magnificent vehicles. LAST SHUTTLE: OUR JOURNEY features interviews with key players in the NASA Space Shuttle program, including the four crew members of the last Atlantis flight: Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim, as well as Commander Chris Ferguson and Pilot Doug Hurley. In addition, LAST SHUTTLE: OUR JOURNEY includes interviews with Captain Bob Crippen, the celebrated pilot of the first ever shuttle mission, Columbia in 1981; as well as Jerry Sheehan, Director of Orbiter Engineering, Boeing.
LAST SHUTTLE: OUR JOURNEY illustrates the intricate preparations for the momentous final mission, including the countdown and launch of the shuttle Atlantis from Kennedy Space Center, provoking viewers to ask “What’s next?” for mankind’s future in space.
LAST SHUTTLE: OUR JOURNEY is produced for SCIENCE by Windfall Films Limited. Carlo Massarella is executive producer. For SCIENCE, Rocky Collins is executive producer and Bernadette McDaid is vice president of production.
Viewers and media are invited to follow along with SCIENCE today to catch behind-the-scenes footage and commentary on Twitter @sciencechannel and on Facebook at facebook.com/sciencechannel