If some kid visits this page looking for info on the sunken city of Atlantis, they’re in for disappointment.
NASA awarded the contract to Rockwell International to build Atlantis on Jan 1, 1979, so she’s a child of the 70s. The final assembly was completed in April 1984, but she didn’t roll out from Palmdale until March of 1985, delivered to KSC the next month.
Her real name, or Orbiter Vehicle Designation, is OV-104. She was named Atlantis after RV Atlantis, a sailing ship for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Atlantis’ maiden flight was STS-51J on Oct 3, 1985. She has flown 32 flights to date, traveling more than 120 million miles.She has spent 293 days in orbit, completed over 4600 orbits, deployed 14 satellites, and docked 11 times at the ISS.
Her last launch was May of last year. I was there for that one, BTW. Sitting with my family at Space View Park at Titusville.
During her career, Atlantis has launched Magellan and Galileo, probes to Venus and Jupiter. Atlantis made seven flights to Mir and made the 100th US manned flight. She has helped build the ISS she is now stocking, and took a crew to service the Hubble.
Atlantis cannot draw power from the ISS so must remain under her own power while docked there. She is the lightest and was built in half the time of Columbia because of lessons learned with the first three orbiters.
- Weight (with three SSMEs): 176,413 pounds
- Length: 122.17 feet
- Height: 56.58 feet
- Wingspan: 78.06 feet