- Associated Press - Thursday, June 30, 2011

HOUSTON (AP) - The four astronauts assigned to NASA’s last space shuttle flight can’t seem to escape all the fuss and hubbub.

With just eight days until Atlantis blasts off, the astronauts said Thursday they’re still getting last-minute requests. Relatives, acquaintances and special-interest groups are all clamoring for launch tickets. And just about everyone wants the astronauts to take something of theirs on the last shuttle ride.

At a news conference, commander Christopher Ferguson said there’s so much hoopla surrounding this last mission that he can’t wait to go into quarantine Friday. Shuttle crews always take up residence at Johnson Space Center in Houston a week before liftoff, to avoid germs.

Liftoff is set for July 8.

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