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Last updated at 16:48 BST, Thursday, 07 July 2011

Space shuttle's final mission


Report and vocabulary

The US space shuttle Atlantis will blast off for the last time on Friday 8 July ending NASA's 30-year programme.

Four crew members will be dropping off a year's worth of supplies at the International Space Station. They'll be in orbit for 12-days and travel 6.5 million kilometres during the sortie.

In total, 355 astronauts will have flown on the shuttle since the inaugural mission in 1981.


blast off: launch, take off like a rocket

dropping off: delivering

in orbit: in a position in space, travelling around the earth

sortie: mission

inaugural: the first in a series of important events or activities


Use one of the words or phrases below to complete each of these sentences from a BBC news report.

Note that you may have to change the form of a word to complete the sentence correctly.

blast off / dropping off / in orbit / sortie / inaugural

Their work will ensure the good "housekeeping" of the satellites, including the maintenance and correct positioning of the spacecraft __________ .

Speaking at an event in Dakar, Senegal, Luc Gnacadja - a UN desertification expert - said the ___________ Africa Drylands Week had ended with a very simple, yet stark, message.

Mr Tito ___________ on 28 April 2001, but only after a struggle to get anyone to take him - the US space agency Nasa refused on the grounds that he was not a trained astronaut, so it was the Russians who facilitated the trip.

A recycling barn will also be set up for festival goers to _______ cans, bottles and packaging.

Nato says it has carried out over six thousand __________ over Libya since the bombing campaign began nearly two months ago.

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