Science & Technology
5:10 am
Tue July 5, 2011

Area Scientists Ready For Last Shuttle Flight

Atlantis
Atlantis
Credit NASA

Area scientists are in Florida this week readying experiments that will go on the final shuttle launch.

Ted Bateman first worked on space experiments as an undergraduate student 20 years ago. Now, he’s an associate professor in rehabilitation engineering in the joint department of biomedical engineering at UNC-Chapel Hill and NC State.

This will be his fourth time sending mice into space.

Ted Bateman: "Oh, it’s certainly exciting to see any space shuttle launch, but particularly when you’ve got your own experience on the space shuttle, and you’ve spent as much time and effort working on this as you have, it’s certainly a thrilling experience."

Bateman’s experiments have focused on the loss of bone density in space. He’s optimistic that space experiments will continue after the shuttle’s final flight.

Bateman: "We don’t consider this the end, we expect to be able to fly experiments in the future. It’s certainly the end of a very important era of flying experiments in space."

The Atlantis is scheduled to take off Friday.

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