Atlantis touched down on schedule at Kennedy Space Center, brining to a close mission STS-135 and the Space Shuttle programme, which over 30 years has carried 355 different astronauts from 16 countries to the International Space Station or other low-Earth orbit missions.

Approaching Kennedy from the northeast across the west coast of Florida near Naples and triggerring dual sonic booms as it slowed to subsonic speeds, Atlantis returned from its 13-day STS-135 mission, which saw the successful delivered and installation of the European Space Agency-built Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module to the International Space Station.

Atlantis - named after a two-masted sailing ship that was operated for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute from 1930 to 1966 – will go on display at the Kennedy Space Center visitor’s complex.


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