The Last Shuttle Pitch Maneuver

STS-135: Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver

On July 10, 2011, space shuttle Atlantis performed the nine-minute Rendezvous Pitch Maneuver, or “backflip.” With Commander Chris Ferguson at the helm, Atlantis rotated 360 degrees backward to enable space station crew members to take high resolution digital pictures of the shuttle’s heat shield. Three cameras outfitted with 1,000 mm, 800 mm and 400 mm lenses captured photos that will provide Mission Control experts with the best possible imagery to validate the integrity of Atlantis’ heat ...

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