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Discovery Channel celebrates the historic finale of NASA Shuttle Program

LAST SHUTTLE to air on Monday, August 15 at 9 pm.

August 1, 2011:

On July 8, 2011, history was made as the shuttle Atlantis lifted off on the final flight of NASA’s Space Shuttle program. After 32 flights into space, this iconic craft, upon its return to Earth, joins the fleet's other three vessels in retirement immediately following touchdown. In celebration of this awe-inspiring moment, Discovery Channel presents LAST SHUTTLE, to air on Monday, August 15 at 9 pm. The programme will repeat on Saturday, August 20 at 8 pm.

NASA granted unprecedented access to the inside of this spacecraft, which Discovery Channel cameras capture in incredible detail. The on-site NASA engineers take viewers under the hood of the orbiter craft to explain the secrets of its success. The all-access special, one year in the making, also features footage of the launch, filmed from Kennedy Space Center. The programme, LAST FLIGHT examines the past, present and future of the shuttle program and U.S. space exploration.  It may be many years before NASA sends a man into space again.

Commenting on the programme, Rahul Johri, senior vice president and general manager, South-Asia, Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific said, “Discovery Channel has always been at the forefront of documenting latest breakthroughs in science and technology and goes beyond imagination to explore the unknown.  With unprecedented access to NASA, the channel continues to bring untold stories of the space explorations and those who have devoted much their lives to the shuttle missions.”

As the sun sets on the shuttle program, it will also mark the end of a way of life for a generation of NASA staff whose lives have largely revolved around these magnificent vehicles. LAST SHUTTLE follows the 18 months of preparations for the final mission and tells the story of the shuttle program through the eyes of the people who know it best. The one-hour special focuses on the key people behind the scenes – engineers, astronauts and others who have spent their lives working with Atlantis. For many, this flight is loaded with mixed emotions, immense pride and nostalgia for the program, and sadness that it is coming to an end.

LAST SHUTTLE begins at Kennedy Space Center in the final minutes before the launch. Viewers will be introduced to a technician from the Orbiter Processing facility who prepares the Atlantis for flight, an astronaut who flew on the very first Shuttle flight, a ship captain

responsible for recovering the solid rocket boosters from the sea, an engineer in charge of the multi-billion-dollar science experiment in Atlantis’ cargo bay, the wife of an astronaut traveling on the last shuttle and the launch director who sends it into the sky.

The final space shuttle mission, STS-135, ended July 21, 2011 when Atlantis rolled to a stop at its home port, NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


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