Government IT: Atlantis' Final Flight Ends 30 Years of NASA Shuttle History
The launch of Atlantis on the STS-135 mission is the final flight of the agencys space shuttle program.
STA Captures Atlantis Launch
Atlantis is seen through the window of a Shuttle Training Aircraft as it lifts off for its 12-day mission to the International Space Station.
The RSS (rotating service structure) provides weather protection and access to the shuttle while it awaits liftoff on the pad.
Headed to the Pad
From left are STS-135 Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Sandy Magnus, Pilot Doug Hurley and Commander Chris Ferguson.
Payload Bay Doors Closing
At Launch Pad 39A, NASA closes Atlantis' payload bay doors around the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module payload for Atlantis' STS-135 final mission.
NASA managers look on from Firing Room Four of the Launch Control Center as the space shuttle Atlantis lifts off.
This image of Atlantis' payload bay, focusing on the docking mechanism, was photographed by the STS-135 crew from inside the crew cabin.
Seen at the rear of the cargo bay is the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module, packed with supplies and spare parts for the orbiting outpost.
Parts of Atlantis' main engines are visible in this image, which is one of a series of images taken during the back flip or RPM (rendezvous pitch maneuver).
Atlantis Launches Into History
After 30 years and 135 missions, residents and visitors to Florida's Space Coast see this rocket's red glare for the last time.