Collection Item Summary:
Atlantis was the fifth Space Shuttle orbiter to be built, and the fourth to fly in space. It arrived at Kennedy Space Center in April 1985 and soon lifted off the first time in October on a dedicated Department of Defense mission (STS 51-J). Later missions included the launch of interplanetary probes to Venus and Jupiter in 1989 (STS-30 and STS-34), launch of the Gamma Ray Observatory in 1991 (STS-37), seven dockings with the Russian Mir space station in the later 1990s, and multiple missions to the International Space Station beginning in 2000. Atlantis was the first orbiter to fly with an electronic "glass cockpit."
Atlantis was named after a two-masted sailing ship that served the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute as a research vessel from 1930 to 1966. Its official name is Orbiter Vehicle-104 (OV-104). NASA transferred this model to the Museum in 2006.