Rocket & Space Shuttle Launches 2011

Space Shuttle STS-134 Endeavour on the pad [© CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 NASA HQ Photo https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/]
Space Shuttle STS-134 Endeavour on the pad [© CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 NASA HQ Photo https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/]

On this page, you will find details of all rocket and space shuttle launches during 2011 from the Kennedy Space Center including the final shuttle launches as the Space Shuttle programme ended.

See bottom of page for all past, present and future launch schedules.

2011 Launches

February 24, 2011 - Space Shuttle Discovery, STS–133

The 35th (and previously the penultimate) mission to the International Space Station to deliver the EXPRESS Logistics Carrier 3 (ELC4). This was Discovery’s last flight and it was planned to be the last ever shuttle mission but that honour then fell to Endeavour and then to Atlantis.

Launch was from launch pad LC–39A.

Launch pushed back from September 16 to allow for completion of critical payload modules and then delayed from November and December due to technical issues with the external tank.

March 5, 2011 - United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 Rocket, OTV 2

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 Rocket launched the U.S. military X–37B prototype spaceplane, Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV), on the program’s second mission.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–41.

March 11, 2011 - United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Rocket, NROL–27

The Delta 4 mission launched a classified spy satellite cargo for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–37B.

May 7, 2011 - United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 Rocket, SBIRS GEO

The Atlas 5 mission launched the first Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite (SBIRS Geo 1) for missile early-warning detection.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–41.

Delayed from April 30 and then again on May 6 because of bad weather.

May 16, 2011 - Space Shuttle Endeavour, STS–134

The 36th and what was to be the final mission to the International Space Station will deliver EXPRESS Logistics Carrier 3 (ELC3) and an Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS). This was Endeavour’s last flight. Originally this was to be the last ever shuttle flight but Atlantis (which acted as a rescue craft for this mission) will now perform one more mission.

The launch was originally planned for July 29, 2010 but a decision to replace the magnets in the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer meant it was delayed until mid November 2010 and then further delays ensued because of delays to Discovery’s launch.

Delayed from May 31, July 29 and November 2010. Pushed back because of rescheduling of Discovery’s final flight and then delayed again from April 19 to avoid clash with Russian supply mission.

Launch countdown aborted on April 29 because of APU heater problems.

This launch slot was previously set for STS–133.

Launch was from launch pad LC–39A.

July 8, 2011 - Space Shuttle Atlantis, STS–135

The 37th and final mission to the International Space Station to deliver the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module. The crew also tested the potential for refuelling spacecraft robotically.

This was Atlantis’s last flight and the 135th flight of a space shuttle.

Launch was from launch pad LC–39A. Delayed from June 28, 2011.

July 16, 2011 - United Launch Alliance Delta 4 Rocket, GPS 2F–2

The Atlas 5 mission launched the second Block 2F military navigation satellite for the Global Positioning System.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–37B.

Delayed from November 17, 2010 and June 23 and July 14, 2011.

August 5, 2011 - United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 Rocket, JUNO

The Atlas 5 mission launchws NASA’s Juno spacecraft on a mission to Jupiter. Juno will investigate Jupiter’s formation, evolution and structure from an elliptical orbit.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–41.

September 10, 2011 - United Launch Alliance Delta 2 Rocket, GRAIL

The Delta 2 mission launched the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) for NASA to study the moon’s interior and thermal evolution.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–17B. Delayed from September 8.

November 26, 2011 - United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 Rocket, MSL

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 Rocket launched the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) which is a rover (named Curiosity) that will assess the environment’s ability to support microbial life and the planet’s habitability.

Launch was from launch pad SLC–41. Delayed from November 25.

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