Space Shuttle Atlantis Final Landing 21/07/11.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — How would you look after 120 million miles? Atlantis might appear a little scuffed up to outsiders as it heads into retirement after a quarter-century of spaceflight. But to the trained eyes of NASA engineers, the ship is still in its prime — a fact that adds to wistful emotions at the space agency as the shuttle program winds down. Atlantis returned home from its 32nd and final voyage Wednesday, the first of three shuttles that are closing out their flying careers and eventually heading to museums. “The legacy of Atlantis, now in the history books,” Mission Control announced at touchdown. About 1,200 guests lined the Kennedy Space Center runway to watch the shuttle glide through a clear morning sky to a flawless landing at the end of a 12-day journey. NASA employees wore white ribbons with the name “Atlantis” and the shuttle’s picture embossed in gold. Even the lead flight directors came in from Houston for the occasion.
STS-129 Atlantis moves from Hangar to the VBA
Stunning video, taken by STS-115 astronaut Heide Stefanyshyn-Piper during Atlantis' re-entry and landing last month, has been acquired, showing what it is like to ride on board an orbiter during re-entry.