Atlantis landing ends 30 years of space shuttle flights
Space shuttle Atlantis touched down before dawn at Kennedy Space Center’s Runway 15, ending 30 years of space shuttle flights.
“Atlantis is home,” said NASA control moments after its arrival at 5:56 a.m. ET. “Its journey complete. A moment to be savored.”
In its final act before beginning the long journey home, Atlantis sent a small payload into orbit on Thursday.
As an era comes to a close, nearly 200 satellites, probes and spacecraft have emerged from the cargo bays of NASA’s five space shuttles since the Columbia launched from Kennedy Space Center on April 12, 1981.