The mission also will fly the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM), an experiment designed to demonstrate and test the tools, technologies and techniques needed to robotically refuel satellites in space, even satellites not designed to be serviced. The crew also will return an ammonia pump that recently failed on the station. Engineers want to understand why the pump failed and improve designs for future spacecraft.
This is the final flight for shuttle Atlantis and the Space Shuttle Program. NASA's workhorses for the past 30 years have completed their mission to build and supply the orbiting outpost, and the agency is now looking to destinations beyond low-Earth orbit.