NASA invited me and 150 others to the final space shuttle launch STS-135 as part of the NASA Tweetup program. Atlantis launched July 8, 2011 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. I was in the media by the big countdown clock to witness this historic last launch. The Tweetup also included behind the scenes tours into the VAB and out to the launch pad. Let me tell you, seeing the Space Shuttle in person and being able to get up close and personal was one of the coolest things I have ever done.
The NASA tweetup (now known as NASA Social) was a very cool experience. Anyone who has an interest in space and science should try and attend one. The Atlantis launch was my first of many NASA Socials. I also attended the launch of the EFT-1 Orion mission in December 2014.
Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center
After arrival and check in, I proceeded to go visit the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center and use the free pass I was given. I had never visited, so I was overwhelmed with how much cool stuff was there. Finally, I was visiting a place I had wanted to go since I was a kid.
Visit to the Launch Pad
The best part of this was a chance to get up close and personal to the space shuttle before launch. We were bussed out in 2 or 3 groups to the launch pad to take photos. Super cool to get right up close and personal as they retracted the launch tower.
Assorted photos from the NASA Tweetup for STS-135 including photos from the media site and the Vehicle Assembly Building.
NASA STS-135 Launch Video
My STS-135 Launch Video
Here’s photos from the actual launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-135.