Atlantis lands at Kennedy Space Center
Updated: 2011-07-21 18:50
The US space shuttle Atlantis is seen with from the International Space Station as it departs the station in this still image taken from NASA TV on July 19, 2011. The mission is the last of a 12-year program to build and service the orbital outpost, the primary legacy of NASA's shuttle fleet. Atlantis' return to Earth, scheduled for Thursday, will conclude the 30-year-old US space shuttle program, with no replacement US spaceships ready to fly. [Photo/Agencies]
Washington - U.S. space shuttle Atlantis landed safely at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday morning, marking the end of the 30-year U.S. space shuttle program.
According to NASA TV, Atlantis touched down at 5:56 a.m. EDT (0956 GMT) after a 13-day service mission to the International Space Station.
Atlantis lifted off on July 8 from Kennedy Space Center. It is the 135th and final flight in NASA's shuttle program. Its primary payload is an Italian-built cargo hauler named Raffaello which is loaded with about 4,000 kg of food, clothing, supplies and science equipment to sustain space station operations after the shuttles are retired.
Atlantis is the last shuttle to be retired. Discovery was first in March, followed by Endeavour at the beginning of June. Each shuttle will head to a museum.
The space shuttle Atlantis lands at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, July 21, 2011.[Photo/Agencies]
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