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From Brenda B., a former co-worker at Kennedy Space Center:

Now that the last Space Shuttle has flown, I thought that you all might be interested in some information relating to the Program!


SENATE RESOLUTION 233—HONORING THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION SPACE SHUTTLE PROGRAM ON REACHING THE HISTORIC MILESTONE OF THE 135TH AND FINAL FLIGHT OF THE SPACE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM

112th Congress – First Session

Mr. NELSON of Florida (for himself, Mr. Brown of Ohio, Mrs. Hutchison, Mr. Boozman, Mr. Rockefeller, Ms. Mikulski, Mr. Rubio, Mr. Udall of Colorado, Mr. Warner, and Mr. Vitter) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to:

S. Res. 233

Whereas the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis on July 8, 2011, is the 135th and final flight of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Space Transportation System (STS-135) and the 33rd flight of the space shuttle Atlantis;

Whereas the National Aeronautics and Space Administration built 5 space-capable orbiters, the Columbia, the Challenger, the Discovery, the Atlantis, and the Endeavour;

Whereas, with the launch of STS-135, 355 individuals will have flown 852 times during the history of the Space Shuttle Program, beginning with the launch of the first Space Transportation System flight on April 12, 1981;

Whereas a spirit of international partnership has been fostered among the 16 countries represented on the space shuttle missions flown during the history of the Space Shuttle Program, including Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, and the United States;

Whereas the space shuttles together have flown 537,114,016 miles, with STS-135 adding an additional 4,000,000 miles;

Whereas, during the history of the Space Shuttle Program, more than 2,000 on-orbit experiments have been conducted in the fields of Earth science, biology, fluids, materials sciences, and astronomy;

Whereas the Space Shuttle Program has executed the launch and service of the Hubble Space Telescope, enabling groundbreaking and breathtaking views of the universe outside of our solar system;

Whereas the space shuttles have docked to 2 different space stations, with 9 missions to Mir, the space station of the Government of Russia, and 37 missions to the International Space Station;

Whereas the Space Shuttle Program has been essential to the on-orbit assembly of the International Space Station and vital to ensuring the continued viability and support of the International Space Station;

Whereas the space shuttles have landed at the Kennedy Space Center 77 times, at Edwards Air Force Base 54 times, and at the White Sands Test Facility once;

Whereas the launch configuration of the entire Space Transportation System contains approximately 2,500,000 moving parts and, at lift-off, weighs approximately 4,500,000 pounds; and

Whereas the space shuttles can travel around the Earth at a speed of approximately 17,500 miles per hour: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate—

(1) congratulates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on reaching the historic milestone of the 135th and final flight of the Space Transportation System;

(2) honors the men and women of the Space Shuttle Program, who worked tirelessly to [S4562] design, build, and operate the Space Transportation System, in order to promote science, exploration, and international cooperation;

(3) remembers the 14 crewmembers lost during the space shuttle Challenger accident, which occurred on January 28, 1986, and the space shuttle Columbia accident, which occurred on February 1, 2003;

(4) notes the diligence in applying the lessons learned through the Challenger and Columbia tragedies to honor the 14 crewmembers we lost and enhance the safety of the crewmembers that followed;

(5) recognizes that the Space Shuttle Program has inspired generations of children to become engineers, scientists, and explorers, which has led to maintaining the precedent of leadership in human space exploration set by the United States during the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo missions; and

(6) acknowledges that the Space Shuttle Program has, through its technological advancements and scientific research, driven innovation in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to benefit the people of the United States and all of humankind.