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    As the space shuttle Atlantis makes its final journey this week, a free event at the University of Louisville will mark the end of NASA’s 30-year exploration program.  

    This coming Friday, July 8, a shuttle retirement party will take place from 11 a.m. to noon at UofL’s Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium. The event will include live viewing of the 11:26 a.m. launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida—the shuttle’s 135th and final mission—and video highlights of previous shuttle missions. Got young ones? All the cool kids will enjoy launching mini-rockets, building marshmallow shuttles and making liquid nitrogen ice cream.
    The celebration will take place even if the mission—dubbed STS-135—is canceled or rescheduled.
    Four astronauts will be aboard Atlantis for a 12-day assignment to deliver supplies and spare parts—including an iPhone—to the International Space Station.
    The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available at the North Information Center off Cardinal Boulevard, and in the Speed Art Museum parking lot off Third Street. For more information, contact Paula McGuffey at 852-5855.  To learn more about the mission, visit NASA’s STS-135 page.
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    Photo: Courtesy NASA

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