The last shuttle mission
July 21st, 2011
06:25 AM ET

The shuttle program's final mission

The space shuttle Atlantis has made its final touchdown at Florida's Kennedy Space Center. The landing ends NASA's 30-year shuttle program that sent 355 astronauts into space. Atlantis embarked on its first flight on October 3, 1985, and ultimately flew 33 flights and covered 125 million miles. Here are some photos of the historic last mission.

Filed under: In Space • News
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Sarah

    I just can't imagine life without space shuttles! And I live no where near them. I had so hoped to see a shuttle launch in person sometime in my lifetime. I just can't imagine not having NASA. I just seems unbelievable. I hope that future generations work towards bringing missions to space back to the USA.

    July 25, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
  2. War Eagle Guy

    When I was a kid I never missed a shuttle launch on TV. I never got to see one live in person. I have always loved aviation and I have made a career out of it. I am 33 now and it is kind of sad to see the Shuttle program come to an end. People can complain all they want about how it cost too much to do this and it is a waste of tax money but looking at these pictures it is an amazing feat of engineering and technology and is so damn cool. I can only imagine the experince of going into space and I wish I could be one of the lucky few that have been able to do it. Can't wait to see what we come up with next.

    July 21, 2011 at 1:20 pm |
  3. Coffeeman

    The Cold War, Space Shuttle, Reagan, etc., are symbols of an bygone era. Although it is sad thing to watch the last flight of this incredibly beautiful machine, I find comfort to see the name of Americans, Russians and Japanese together as People in Orbit. These are our former enemies, but they all now work peaceful together.

    July 21, 2011 at 11:29 am |
    • John Schwendler

      I agree. Growing up in the 50's and 60s, it was an adversarial (sp) time. Really stupid, too. Much better when all the earth's inhabitants work together, tolerate each other, use only what is needed, replace what was taken. Oh, wait, the Indians figured that out a millenia ago...

      July 21, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
  4. Rena Kaplan

    what a spectacular scene! from horse and buggy to space ship Atlantis final ride. I,m so glad I lived long enough to see it all. (94yrs)

    July 21, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Mario T

      What a wonderful way to look at it Rena. Being 31, I cannot even imagine how amazing it has been to watch technology grow from the Horse and Buggy to a Spaceship, and everything in between in 94 short years. I can only image the conversation pieces you hold. I think having a conversation with someone such as yourself would be amazing.

      July 21, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
      • Rena Kaplan

        Thanks. Yes I ha quite a ride so far.

        July 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • John Schwendler

      There have been a tiny handful of certain events that have occurred in everyone's life where they just have to stop and say "wow!" In my time of the 50's and 60's it was mostly assassination events that brought us all pause. But I remember the WHOLE EARTH stopping one Sunday in July, to watch, wherever they happened to be, two human beings first set foot on another planet. It's an event up there with the discovery of fire, the invention of the wheel and the printing press, and gunpowder. Not just America, but many other nations, whether they should have spent the funds or not, have contributed to the exploration of the heavens. May it never become a place of war and conflict. May it always be explored in peace and shared understanding, and may the lives that were given in the progress of mankind's relentless explorations never be forgotten.

      July 21, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
      • JayKo

        I'm sure you meant "celestial body" or "moon" instead of "set foot on another 'planet'." You make a good point though about the 50's and 60's and how there was so little of anything positive in the news. In fact, I think the space race was probably one of the only positive inspirational times the world has ever experienced, as it ended up being a collaborative effort. Instead of missles with warheads, we had rockets with payloads. I wish people would stop with the whole "NASA did nothing for us" venom they spew and realize what exactly NASA contributed to the world.

        July 21, 2011 at 3:35 pm |


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