Which Space Shuttle Was Inspected After Two Lightning Strikes?

space-shuttle-inspected-after-two-lightning-strikes Credit: Anna Omelchenko/iStock/Getty Images

On July 7, 2011, two lightning strikes occurred within a mile of the space shuttle Atlantis' launch pad. Neither of these strikes actually hit the shuttle itself. Rather, the strikes made contact with a nearby beach and with a water tower that was about 500 feet away from the shuttle.

Though these two lightning strikes occurred in close proximity to the space shuttle Atlantis, a NASA inspection found that the shuttle itself was not damaged and could proceed with launch. Atlantis was launched on July 8, 2011, and returned to earth on July 21, 2011. This was the final mission of the United States' space shuttle program.