Last Flight for Atlantis
Enjoy them while they last. Japanese astronaut Sochi Noguchi took this great shot of the Space Shuttle Atlantis over the Canary Islands just before it docked with Space Station Freedom yesterday. The shot was a featured headline on space.com .
If everything goes according to plan, I will feature the final missions of each of the remaining shuttles as they occur. That plan being the retirement of the space shuttle fleet, which seems to still be up in the air, like everything else at NASA seems to be these days, (yes, pun intended).
Atlantis, the fourth shuttle constructed, began flying in 1985 with a launch for the U.S. Department of Defense. Through the years it was a frequent visitor to the Russian Mir Space Station and on this last mission will deliver a Russian research module to Freedom. Recently, it carried the final Hubble refit mission.
Here are two images that I stole from Nasa.gov and a couple of links to videos.