STS-135: Space Shuttle soars into history on its final mission!
7/8/11 ~ 11:29:04am EDT

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The 33rd and last flight of the orbiter
Atlantis

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On July 8, 2011, the Space Shuttle soared into history on its 135th and final mission, as Atlantis made its 33rd and last trip into space itself. After 30 years of shuttle flights, two tragedies and 133 triumphs, the Shuttle Program came to an emotional and bittersweet end before an audience of one million people who flocked to the Space Coast to say goodbye.

STS-135 carried a crew of just four astronauts, the smallest US crew since 1982 when the shuttle was just born. Commander Chris Ferguson guided Atlantis along with Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim on the final shuttle voyage.

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The final rollover**       **Final lift and mate**       **VAB overhead**      **Final shuttle rollout**

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Sunrise high atop Pad 39A**       TCDT crew arrival       **M-113 tank driving at TCDT**      **Crew at Pad 39A TCDT**

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Crew arrival for final launch**       **Panorama: Crew arrival**       **RSS rollback**       Scenes from remote camera steup

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SUNSET & THE NIGHT BEFORE***       Around the press site       Astrovan       **Liberty Star & first SRB return to Port**

**NIGHT LANDING!**       **RUNWAY LANDING SILHOUETTE**       **Atlantis safed on runway**

**Tow off runway**       Crew at PLPC


Astronomy Picture of the Day!

Long live the Space Shuttle! An American icon for over 30 years.

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STS-134                                                            
ABOVE: Some 3,000 members of the media, NASA tweetup and PAO employees view the launch from the Kennedy Space Center press site, 3.0 miles from Launch Pad 39A. It was one of the largest media get togethers in history, similar in size to Apollo 11, STS-1, and STS-95. Some one million people gathered around KSC and around Cape Canaveral to view the on-time launch!

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This fisheye was perhaps too close. Placed about 250 feet from the right-hand Solid Rocket Booster (much closer than it appears...see fifth photo from top of page), the 180-degree view was both waterlogged and smoked-out, prohibiting a great shot. The lens is likely not reusable (and the plastic protecting the camera melted...)