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30-Year-Old Shuttle Program Ends With Space Shuttle Atlantis’ Landing [Headlines]

The National Geographic celebrates Atlantis' landing with 30 years worth of remarkable pictures.

Adrian Lai
  • 22 july 2011

Sitting on a rolling platform, the space shuttle Challenger emerges from the mist at Kennedy Space Center in Florida as it heads toward the launch pad, just visible in the distance, in November 1982. Challenger lifted off on its maiden voyage in April 1983 for the sixth shuttle mission. When the space shuttle Atlantis lands on Thursday, it will wrap up STS-135,the final shuttle mission in the U.S. program’s 30-year history. This shot is among those chosen by National Geographic photo editors as the most unforgettable pictures from the entire shuttle program. The National Geographic

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