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Posted Jul 22, 2015

July 22 – Final Shuttle Mission Ends: Friday, July 22, 2011 5:57 am EDT

7-22-15-main_crewatlantis-m_946-710   7-22-15-Atlantis on display


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

NASA’s space shuttle program ended on July 22, 2011 with the safe return of the shuttle Atlantis to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The 33rd mission of Atlantis, STS-135, had launched on July 8 at 11:29am EDT. Thefour-member crew, including Commander Chris Ferguson, Mission Specialist Sandy Magnus, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialist Rex Walheim, transported important supplies and hardware to the space station to prepare it for the years following the end of the shuttle program.

Commander Chris Ferguson commented on behalf of his crew, “Although we got to take the ride, we sure hope that everybody who has ever worked on, or touched, or looked at, or envied or admired a space shuttle was able to take just a little part of the journey with us.”

Atlantis was the fourth shuttle constructed by NASA. It performed well in its 25 years of service, flying 33 missions that included secret missions for the U.S. military; transporting astronauts to and from space stations; and launching several probes. Upon landing, the shuttle was towed into Kennedy’s Orbiter Processing Facility-2 where technicians completed normal post-flight processing and de-servicing work. The historic spacecraft is now part of a permanent display at the Kennedy Space Center. It is exhibited with payload doors open and its Canadarm (robotic arm) extended, as if it had just undocked from the International Space Station.

Final launch of Atlantis

Final landing of Atlantis


Final Shuttle crew, left to right, Commander Chris Ferguson, Mission Specialist Sandy Magnus, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Mission Specialist Rex Walheim

Atlantis on permanent display at the Kennedy Space Center

To commemorate the City of Troy’s 60th Anniversary in 2015, we will publish a different story each day that highlights a person, discovery, or event that occurred locally, regionally, nationally, or even globally between 1955 and 2015 and that helped shape our lives and our community. We will try to post stories on important anniversary dates, but we also realize that dates are less critical than content and context. We will include the facts related to controversial stories, allowing our readers to form their own opinions. We invite you to read and comment on the stories. Your suggestions for topics are also welcome and can be posted on our Facebook page, You can also email stories or ideas to the 365 Story Editor at

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