Atlantis lands at Kennedy Space Center

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Space Shuttle Atlantis

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About Atlantis

Space Shuttle Orbiter Atlantis is one of the fleet of space shuttles belonging to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It was the fourth operational shuttle built. Following the destruction of Columbia, it is one of the three fully operational shuttles remaining in the fleet. The other two are Discovery and Endeavour. After it completes STS-125, the final Hubble Space Telescope service mission, Atlantis is scheduled to be the first shuttle retired from the fleet.

Other NASA Space Shuttles
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Space Shuttle Atlantis landing for the last time.

Space Shuttle Atlantis landed Wednesday, May 26, at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, after 11 days, 18 hours and 4.8 million miles in space on mission STS-132.

The shuttle landed at 08:48:18 EDT (12:48 UTC), on runway 33 of the Shuttle Landing Facility for the last time Wednesday. Speaking of the smooth landing, Mission Control said, "That was pretty sweet. That was a suiting end to an incredible mission." "It was smooth as silk. We were clearly riding in the middle of a fireball, and it was spectacular. The windows, all of them, were bright, brilliant orange. One of the neatest things was when we flew right into orbital sunrise," STS-132 Commander Ken Ham said of the landing.

Mission STS-132 carried the Russian-built Mini Research Module Rassvet and an Integrated Cargo Carrier-Vertical Light Deployable (ICC-VLD) to the International Space Station, and featured three spacewalks, after docking with the station on Flight Day 3, May 16.

Atlantis docked to the ISS

It was Space Shuttle Atlantis' 32nd mission and also its last, completing almost 25 years of service. Along with Atlantis, the Space Shuttles Endeavour and Discovery will also be retired in 2010. The shuttles will be shown at museums around the country.


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