See also Space Transportation System
and space shuttle
This orbiter is currently active.
Entered service October 3, 1985.
Atlantis was the fourth active orbiter
in the fleet
, and was intended to be the last of the line
. This was changed when Challenger
was destroyed, and Endeavour
was built to replace it.
Atlantis was able to make use of many of the same design improvements that aided Discovery
, including a reduction in weight of some 6,974 pound
s, and nearly half the construction time of the original orbiter
During the construction of Atlantis and Discovery
replacement parts were commissioned, amounting to an estimated $389 million
. These included a spare aft-fuselage
, forward fuselage
halves, vertical tail
, wings, elevons
and body flap. These spare
parts were later used to build Endeavour
The rest of the orbiter fleet:
ed note: In 2006, NASA anounced plans to retire Atlantis and use her for spare parts for Discovery and Endeavour.