NASA confirms July 8 for last shuttle launch

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- The last space shuttle launch ever is set for July 8.

NASA managers met at Kennedy Space Center on Tuesday and confirmed Friday, July 8, as the launch date for Atlantis. The 12-day mission will close out the 30-year shuttle program.

Atlantis will fly to the International Space Station with a year's worth of supplies. Four astronauts will be on board for this grand finale.

NASA spent the past week testing a new fuel valve that was installed in one of Atlantis' main engines to stop a leak. Technicians also X-rayed support brackets on the external fuel tank. Officials say everything looks good.

Launch time is 11:26 a.m. Huge crowds are expected.

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NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/shuttle