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Atlantis to make final flight to ISS on May 14

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The Atlantis will retire after its May 14, 2010 flight. A NASA photo

CAPE CANAVERAL (BNS): NASA’s Space shuttle Atlantis will fly to the International Space Station for the last time on May 14, 2010.

The US space agency has given its go-ahead to launch the spaceship which will take the six-member STS-132 crew to the ISS on a 12-day mission.

The spaceship will blast off from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida at 2.20 pm EDT on May 14, thereby making its last scheduled flight to the orbital station, NASA said on Wednesday.

The six astronauts will deliver the Russian-built Mini Research Module-1, also known as ‘Rassvet’, to the orbital station.

The flight will also carry critical spare parts and cargo, including six new solar array batteries and Ku-band antenna systems. During the mission, three spacewalks are planned to put those spare parts on the station, NASA said.

The STS-132 mission is the third of five manned missions planned for 2010. The other two missions are targeted for launch in September and November this year.

NASA has decided to retire three of its space shuttles by the end of this year. While Atlantis will retire following this month's flight, Discovery is slated to make its final flight in September followed by Endeavour in November.

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