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08 July 2011

Space shuttle Atlantis up and away one last time

Image: Atlantis liftoff May 2009 from maggieandcharles

Friday, July 8, 2011 – The space shuttle Atlantis successfully blasted off moments ago from Cape Canaveral on NASA’s historic and final space shuttle mission, with four astronauts aboard. The shuttle is bound for the International Space Station, making one final supply run.

Watch video launch replays of the STS-135 Atlantis mission launch on NASAtelevision.

Atlantis is the 135th space shuttle launch for NASA, and, for this mission, four astronauts are riding Atlantis to orbit. The Atlantis astronauts include mission specialist Sandra Magnus, pilot Doug Hurley, commander Chris Ferguson and mission specialist Rex Walhelm.

The historic liftoff occurred, 30 years and three months after the very first shuttle flight.

Hundreds of thousands of spectators jammed Cape Canaveral and surrounding towns for the farewell. Kennedy Space Center itself was packed with shuttle workers, astronauts and 45,000 invited guests, the maximum allowed.

NASA’s space shuttle Atlantis successfully blasted from Cape Canaveral on Friday, July 8, 2011. It is NASA’s final space shuttle mission. Four astronauts are aboard Atlantis. The shuttle is bound for the International Space Station, making one last supply run.

- Earthsky