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Nov 16, 2009 2:34 PM by Associated Press

Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off on supply mission

Space shuttle Atlantis is rocketing toward the space station.

Atlantis blasted off Monday afternoon, carrying six astronauts and a full load of spare parts to the International Space Station. The shuttle will reach the orbiting outpost Wednesday.

The supply run should keep the space station humming for years to come, and the shuttle astronauts will be in space through Thanksgiving.

The crew will perform three spacewalks during the 11-day mission.

About 100 Twittering NASA fans were on hand for the launch. They won front-row seats in a contest last month and filed Twitter updates as the countdown unfolded. This is NASA's last shuttle flight of the year and one of only six remaining.

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