A Look Back: Space Shuttle blasts off for final time

1 of 46
The rotating service structure rolls away from Space Shuttle Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla. , Thursday July 7, 2011. Atlantis and a crew of four are scheduled to launch on Friday, July 8, on the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Stan Honda, Pool)
2 of 46
The Astrovan carrying the STS-135 crew; Chris Furgeson, commander, Doug Hurley, pilot, and mission specialists Rex Walheim and Sandy Mangus, rolls past the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) and Launch Control Center (LCC), on its way to launch pad 39a and space shuttle Atlantis, Friday, July 8, 2011, at the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/ NASA, Bill Ingalls)
3 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis astronauts left to right, pilot Doug Hurley, mission specialist Sandra Mangus, commander Chris Ferguson and missions specialist Rex Walheim leave the operations and check out building on their way to the pad at the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
4 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis astronauts left to right, mission specialists Rex Walheim, Sandy Magnus, pilot Doug Hurley and commander Chris Ferguson, leave the operations and check-out building on the way to the pad at the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)
5 of 46
6 of 46
In this handout photo released by NASA, shows Space Shuttle Atlantis as it lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla. , Thursday July 8, 2011. Atlantis and a crew of four are on a mission to the International Space Station. This is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/NASA,HO)
7 of 46
In this handout photo released by NASA, shows Space Shuttle Atlantis as it lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla. , Thursday July 8, 2011. Atlantis and a crew of four are on a mission to the International Space Station. This is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/NASA,HO)
8 of 46
Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Friday, July 8, 2011. The STS135 mission, the final shuttle flight, will bring supplies to the international space station. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
9 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
10 of 46
11 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)
12 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
13 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
14 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
15 of 46
16 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)
17 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
18 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
19 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Denis Paquin)
20 of 46
21 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Tim Donnelly)
22 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
23 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)
24 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
25 of 46
26 of 46
Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from Pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Friday, July 8, 2011. The STS135 mission, the final shuttle flight, will bring supplies to the international space station. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
27 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
28 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
29 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Denis Paquin)
30 of 46
31 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
32 of 46
The space shuttle Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
33 of 46
In this photo provided by NASA, space shuttle Atlantis is seen through the window of a Shuttle Training Aircraft as it lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/NASA, Dick Clark)
34 of 46
In this photo released by NASA, the exhaust plume from space shuttle Atlantis is seen through the window of a Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) as it launches from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on the STS-135 mission, Friday, July 8, 2011 in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis launched on the final flight of the shuttle program on a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. The STS-135 crew will deliver the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module containing supplies and spare parts for the space station. (AP Photo/NASA, Dick Clark)
35 of 46
36 of 46
In this photo released by NASA, the exhaust plume from space shuttle Atlantis is seen through the window of a Shuttle Training Aircraft (STA) as it launches from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center on the STS-135 mission, Friday, July 8, 2011 in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis launched on the final flight of the shuttle program on a 12-day mission to the International Space Station. The STS-135 crew will deliver the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module containing supplies and spare parts for the space station. (AP Photo/NASA, Dick Clark)
37 of 46
Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off Friday, July 8, 2011, in Titusville, Fla. Atlantis is scheduled to liftoff Friday on the final space shuttle mission. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
38 of 46
The Howard family from Huddersfield, England, walk along the Max Brewer Bridge before space shuttle Atlantis lifts off Friday, July 8, 2011, in Titusville, Fla. Four astronauts are taking space shuttle Atlantis for one last ride, the very last one of the 30-year space shuttle era. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
39 of 46
Spectators watch the final launch of space shuttle Atlantis in Titusville, Fla., Friday, July 8, 2011. Four astronauts are taking space shuttle Atlantis for one last ride, the very last one of the 30-year space shuttle era. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
40 of 46
41 of 46
NASA employee Robin Allen of Huntsville, Ala., helps her husband launch his shuttle kite on Cocoa Beach, Fla., on Friday, July 8, 2011. The 29-year employee will be leaving her job shortly as the shuttle Atlantis is the final mission before the shuttle fleet is retired. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
42 of 46
Spectators watch and take photographs as space shuttle Atlantis lifts off Friday, July 8, 2011, in Titusville, Fla. Four astronauts are taking space shuttle Atlantis for one last ride, the very last one of the 30-year space shuttle era. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
43 of 46
Spectators watch the final launch of space shuttle Atlantis in Titusville, Fla., Friday, July 8, 2011. Four astronauts are taking space shuttle Atlantis for one last ride, the very last one of the 30-year space shuttle era. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
44 of 46
Thousands gather in the surf and on the beach in Cocoa Beach, Fla., Friday, July 8, 2011 to watch the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis on STS-135. The space shuttle Atlantis is the final shuttle mission before the fleet is retired. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)
45 of 46
46 of 46
Spectators watch the space shuttle Atlantis lift off from the Kennedy Space Center Friday, July 8, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. (AP Photo/Terry Renna)

Description

Space Shuttle Atlantis lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, July 8, 2011, on the fleet's final mission. The 135th shuttle launch, with a crew of four, was to the International Space Station. Here is a look back at the launch.

This Week's Circulars