Despite unfriendly whether filled with low lying clouds and a last moment countdown glitch, which gave of all the 750,000 spectators gathered at Kennedy Space Center venue to witness the launch a pretty big scare, Atlantis was catapulted into low-orbit with dazzling success yesterday, July 8th.
STS 135 was, as the name implies, the 135th and final shuttle mission, marking an end to more than 30 years of breath taking flights, and hopefully clearing the way for a new era of more advanced, safe and economic means of space transportation.
Take it as a weekend treat or simply as a tribute to the iconic shuttle missions, in this post I’ve taken the liberty to scour the internet for illustrated moments of the shuttle’s grand finale.
The STS 135 crew met with a standing ovation from the crowd. From left to right: Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Sandy Magnus, Pilot Doug Hurley Shuttle Commander Chris Ferguson. (c) Ken Kreme
Crowds gathered at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center early Friday to witness the final launch of the space shuttle Atlantis. The liftoff—which took place slightly behind schedule at about 11:29 a.m. ET—marks the 135th and final space shuttle mission, capping off the 30-year-old U.S. space shuttle program. (c) Morry Gash, AP
About three hundred people gather to watch the liftoff of Space Shuttle Atlantis at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium on Friday in St. Louis. (c) Erik M. Lunsford
“WHAT AN INCREDIBLE FEAT OF ENGINEERING!!!111″ – crowd going wild as Atlantis bursts into the stratosphere. (c) Reuters
Atlantis’ launch is seen from above through the window of a Shuttle Training Aircraft. (c) NASA/Dick Clark
It’s estimated that somewhere between 750,000 and 1 million people showed up for the last ever shuttle launch down at the Kennedy Space Center. (c) Hans Deryk, Reuters
Picture of Atlantis exiting clouds taken by Ryan Graff who was a flight heading towards his high school graduation trip in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He scooped this one from his window with an iPhone.
Another one – kid’s got talent!
In a very unique setting over Earth’s colorful horizon, the silhouette of the space shuttle Endeavour is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 22 crewmember prior to STS-130 rendezvous and docking operations with the International Space Station. Docking occurred at 12:06 p.m. (EST) on Feb. 10, 2010. CREDIT: NASA
A still from NASA TV shows the moment when the space shuttle Atlantis jettisoned its external fuel tank shortly after launch on Friday. (c) NASA TV via Reuters
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