Space shuttle's legacy: Soaring in orbit and costs

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - NASA's 135th and final space shuttle launch is set for Friday.

Once Atlantis lands at the end of a 12-day mission, it and the other two remaining shuttles are officially museum pieces -- more expensive than any paintings.

Ohio astronaut John Glenn calls the shuttle "the perfect vehicle for its time." He flew aboard one mission, years after he became the first American to orbit the Earth on board a Mercury capsule.

Glenn says like any pilot he'd prefer to fly the shuttle and called it a much smoother ride. But he said he understands why the future looks more like his Mercury capsules.

The 89-year-old former senator said in a recent interview from his Columbus that the capsule is far cheaper.

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