NASA's Atlantis blasts off into history
Friday, July 8, 2011
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Atlantis has blasted off on NASA's last space shuttle launch.
The historic liftoff occurred Friday morning, 30 years and three months after the very first shuttle flight.
Four astronauts are riding Atlantis to orbit. The shuttle is bound for the International Space Station, making one final supply run.
Hundreds of thousands of spectators jammed Cape Canaveral and surrounding towns for the farewell. Kennedy Space Center itself was packed with shuttle workers, astronauts and 45,000 invited guests, the maximum allowed.
The flight will last 12 days. Weather permitting, Atlantis will return to Kennedy, where it will end up on permanent display.