Shannon Walker, who was selected as an astronaut in 2004, checks in with NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce at Kennedy Space Center, where cheers went up as Atlantis departed for its 33rd and final voyage. Nearby, among throngs of spectators, NPR's Greg Allen talks about the mood along Florida's Space Coast as the shuttle program ends after 30 years. Atlantis will drop supplies at the International Space Station and return to Earth on July 20.
For many migrants trying to reach the U.S. from Mexico, the border region is a terrifying, lawless place, and their fear is often justified. Things are so bad in Matamoros, a border city just across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas, that last month the city's police were stripped of their weapons, ordered off the streets and replaced by soldiers.
Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne report that Atlantis lifted off from its Florida launchpad on schedule, reached orbit and is on its way to the International Space Station. From Johnson Space Center in Houston, NPR's Wade Goodwyn relays what's happening at Mission Control; and NPR science correspondent Joe Palca talks about what's next for Americans in space.
Counting down to NASA's final space shuttle launch Friday, Steve Inskeep and Renee Montagne share footage from the shuttle program's roaring start 30 years ago. NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports a celebratory but bittersweet mood at Kennedy Space Center, and NPR's Greg Allen reports from crowds viewing the launchpad from Florida's Space Coast. And finally, Greenfieldboyce narrates the lift-off.
The "Barbershop" guys weigh in on Casey Anthony's murder trial, Time Magazine editor-at-large Mark Halperin's off-color remark about President Obama, and the cancellation of Eliot Spitzer's show on CNN. Host Michel Martin hears from author Jimi Izrael, civil rights attorney Arsalan Iftikhar, syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette, and political science professor Lester Spence.