Jul 7, 2011 4:38 PM by Matt Stafford
On Friday, people across the United States and the world will be watching NASA's final shuttle launch; the historic space transportation machine will be retired after the mission.
Space Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to liftoff from Cape Canaveral just before 9:30 a.m. local time. There is concern about weather delaying the launch.
The last shuttle launch comes before NASA has designed and built a new transport model; in the meantime American astronauts will still be traveling to space, but they'll be riding there on the rockets of other countries or businesses in the private sector -- who are expected to play a larger role in space travel in the future.
We'll talk more about Friday's scheduled shuttle launch, as well as local connections, Friday night on News First 5.