Five Years Ago Today: The End of the Shuttle Era

On July 21, 2011, the Space Shuttle Atlantis rolled to stop at Kennedy Space Center for the very last time.  If you want to relive that moment, here’s NASA’s STS-135 landing video.  It’s half an hour long; skip ahead to 9 minutes to see the HUD video from the Orbiter, and the runway coming up for the night landing:

STS-135 was commanded by Chris Ferguson, who has since retired from NASA and now works for Boeing.  He’s serving as program manager for the CST-100 Starliner program, and has dibs on the first CST-100 crewed flight; if he gets his way, he intends to retrieve the very same flag he left on the ISS during STS-135 five years ago.

Meanwhile, OV-104 Atlantis herself has been moved to form the centerpiece of a spectacular display at the KSC Visitor’s Center, where she is displayed with payload bay doors open, RMS reaching out across the room, as if in flight — forever.


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