Last space shuttle comes home, ends 30-year era - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Last space shuttle comes home, ends 30-year era

Source: NASA Source: NASA
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  • Atlantis: The last mission comes to an end

    Atlantis: The last mission comes to an end

    With a double sonic boom over the Florida peninsula early Thursday morning, the space shuttle Atlantis re-entered Earth's atmosphere, marking the end to America's 30-year shuttle program.Full Story >
    With a double sonic boom over the Florida peninsula early Thursday morning, the space shuttle Atlantis re-entered Earth's atmosphere, marking the end to America's 30-year shuttle program. Click here for continuous coverage of the final space shuttle mission.Full Story >

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Space shuttle Atlantis is back on Earth, and the shuttle era is over.

Atlantis and its four astronauts glided through the twilight Thursday and landed in Florida shortly before sunrise. Hundreds gathered near the runway to welcome Atlantis home - and to bid NASA's 30-year space shuttle program goodbye.

Atlantis' successful space station restocking mission closed out the shuttle era. This was a true homecoming for Atlantis.

The next-to-youngest shuttle will remain at Kennedy Space Center and be put on display. NASA's next stop with astronauts will be an asteroid, then Mars. Private companies will take over trips to the International Space Station.

 (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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