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Video description: Space shuttle Atlantis lands for the final time at Kennedy Space Center.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

ANNOUNCER: The pre-flare maneuver executed. Landing gear down and locked. Main gear touchdown. Now deploying drag chute. Ferguson rotating the nose gear down to the deck. Nose gear touchdown.

Having fired the imagination of a generation, a ship like no other, its place in history secured, the space shuttle pulls into port for the last time, its voyage at an end.

ASTRONAUT VOICE: Mission complete Houston. After serving the world for over 30 years the space shuttle has found its place in history and has come to a final stop.

MISSION CONTROL: We copy your will stop and we’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate you, Atlantis as well of the thousands of passionate individual across this great space-faring nation who truly empowered this incredible space craft, which for three decades has inspired millions around the globe. Job well done, America.

ASTRONAUT VOICE: Hey thanks. Great work. Great words. The space shuttle has changed the way we view our world and the way we view our universe. It’s a lot of emotion today, but one thing is indisputable, America is not going to stop exploring. Thank you Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Endeavor and our ship, Atlantis. Thank you for protecting us and bringing this program to such a fitting end. God Bless all of you. God Bless the United States of America.

MISSION CONTROL: Inspiring comments Atlantis. We’ll meet you on 5-3.

ASTRONAUT VOICE: We’ll see you there.

Video by NASA

Image description: At 5:57 a.m. EDT on July 21, 2011, space shuttle Atlantis landed for the final time at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center after 200 orbits around Earth and a journey of 5,284,862 miles on the STS-135 mission and final flight for the Space Shuttle Program.
Photo by NASA

Image description: At 5:57 a.m. EDT on July 21, 2011, space shuttle Atlantis landed for the final time at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center after 200 orbits around Earth and a journey of 5,284,862 miles on the STS-135 mission and final flight for the Space Shuttle Program.

Photo by NASA

Image description: This image of the International Space Station was taken by Atlantis’ STS-135 crew during a fly around as the shuttle departed the station on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. STS-135 is the final shuttle mission to the orbital laboratory.
The shuttle landed for the last time this morning at Kennedy Space Center.
Photo by NASA.

Image description: This image of the International Space Station was taken by Atlantis’ STS-135 crew during a fly around as the shuttle departed the station on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. STS-135 is the final shuttle mission to the orbital laboratory.

The shuttle landed for the last time this morning at Kennedy Space Center.

Photo by NASA.

VIDEO DESCRIPTION: Relive the launch of Columbia on STS-1, the very first space shuttle mission back on April 12, 1981.

On Thursday, July 21st 2011 at 5:56 am EDT, the Space Shuttle Atlantis will land, ending not just the 135th shuttle mission, but the space shuttle era as well. Good luck in the morning, Atlantis. We’ll be watching.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

MALE NARRATOR: For the thousands coming to view the launch, the troubles began early this morning. The roads leading to the Space Center were jammed hours before the scheduled lift off. A trip that normally takes fifteen minutes took almost three hours.

FEMALE NARRATOR: It was the second time around but there was no feeling of anti-climax around the Cape this morning. The shuttle had become a symbol. Everyone waiting for liftoff had a personal interest in seeing it go up.

BOY: I’d like to be an astronaut, but it takes a lot of courage, and I’d be scared to go up there right now.

YOUNG MAN: Anyone can see it on TV, but I have a chance to be here live, and I’d rather see it live.

OLDER WOMAN WITH SPACE SHUTTLE HAT:: I’ve seen more launches than anybody else, and everyone is just as exciting, but this means more to me than any other one I think.

FEMALE NARRATOR: It was a carnival a show that will have one run only. But it was more than that. These people were here because they believe in the shuttle and they wanted to show it.

MISSION CONTROL: We’re a few seconds away from switching to the redundant set sequencer. T minus 27 seconds. We have gone for redundant set sequencer start. T minus 20 seconds and counting. T minus 15, 14, 13. T minus 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, ,4…

Cheers from the crowd as shuttle lifts off.

ROAR of engines.

Sounds from astronauts in shuttle as it comes in for landing.

ASTRONAUT: Everything looks real good. 2500 feet. 40, 30, 20, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. We’re down. Touchdown.  

MISSION CONTROL: Unofficial touchdown time. As Columbia’s landing gear touched the lake bed, Flight Deck’s instructions were prepare for exhilaration.

Applause from mission control and audience gathered to watch.

END OF AUDIO

Image description: This photo of the space shuttle Atlantis was taken by its crew while in Earth’s orbit. At the rear of the cargo bay is the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module, packed with supplies and spare parts for the orbiting outpost.
Photo by NASA
View more photos from Atlantis’ mission.

Image description: This photo of the space shuttle Atlantis was taken by its crew while in Earth’s orbit. At the rear of the cargo bay is the Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module, packed with supplies and spare parts for the orbiting outpost.

Photo by NASA

View more photos from Atlantis’ mission.