July 2011 APOD --
left planet Earth on Friday,
July 8, embarking on the STS-135 mission
to the International Space Station.
The momentous launch was the final one
in NASA's 30 year
shuttle program that began with
the launch of the first reusable spacecraft on
In this reflective
image from July 7,
Atlantis stands in
familiar spot on the
Kennedy Space Center's pad 39A, after an early evening
roll back of the pad's Rotating Service Structure.
The historic orbital
of Atlantis have included a
Space Telescope servicing
mission, deployment of
and seven trips to the Russian
Scheduled to dock once
again with the
Space Station on Sunday,
Atlantis has now made its 33rd and final trip to orbit.