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Atlantis first shuttle to be retired
Posted: Sat, Feb 18, 2006, 5:48 AM ET (1048 GMT)
STS-110 Atlantis rolls out to pad 39B (NASA/KSC) Atlantis will be the first of NASA's three remaining space shuttle orbiters to be retired, in 2008, shuttle managers said Friday. Atlantis had been scheduled to begin a lengthy overhaul in September 2008, after flying five more missions, but by the time that overhaul would have been complete the shuttle fleet as a whole would be ready for retirement. Instead, NASA plans to use Atlantis as a "parts donor" for the other two shuttles, Discovery and Endeavour, which have both either recently completed or are about to complete overhauls. NASA is planning about 17 more shuttle missions before the program ends in 2010.
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