Space Shuttle Atlantis has returned from its last mission, landing on May 26 at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida, for the last time after a mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
On its 32nd and final mission, Atlantis carried six astronauts who installed a Russian component to the ISS as well as six fresh batteries and an additional antenna.
While now retired, Atlantis is being kept on standby for a potential rescue mission for the final flight by Endeavour, which is expected to take place in November. The only other space shuttle flight planned is a cargo run to the ISS by Discovery in September, although that and Endeavour’s flights are understood to have cargo issues which may delay them.
The fourth of NASA’s space shuttle series, Atlantis spent 294 days in orbit and circled the earth 4648 times. It carried 189 astronauts and made 11 trips to and from the ISS, as well as seven missions to Russia’s Mir station and one mission to the Hubble space telescope.