UPI Pictures of the Year 2011 - News and features
NASA's space shuttle "Atlantis" returns "home" to the Kennedy Space Center's Landing Facility Runway 15 for the final time at 5:56 am on July 21, 2011. Carrying a crew of four and the Raffaello Logistics Module, the mission flew to the Space Station with enough equipment and supplies to support the outpost for the next year. The return of Atlantis closes the book on the Space Shuttle Program. Spanning thirty years, NASA's fleet of orbiters conducted 135 missions; launching satellites, including Galileo and Magellan to the planets, conducted scientific research, boosted and repaired the Hubble Space Telescope and completed construction of the International Space Station. Atlantis will be retired but remain in Florida on display at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. .UPI/Joe Marino-Bill Cantrell
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