Atlantis has blasted off on NASA's last space shuttle launch. The historic liftoff occurred 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, reports Russia Today.
If you want to see Atlantis blast off, here's what you need to know.
Planning to attend the final launch of space shuttle Atlantis on Friday, or watch it on television? First of all, if you are attending the launch, we'd like to hear from you—email Northeast Cobb Patch editor Julia Harris so we can talk to you for a possible story or so you can share photos with Northeast Cobb. Here's what else you need to know: Why watch? It's a chance to see history. NASA is retiring its space shuttle program, to be replaced with a new space exploration program focused on sending astronauts to deep space and asteroids. STS-135 is the final space shuttle mission. When is it? Atlantis is scheduled to blast off at 11:26 a.m. today, but the time and date are always subject to change. As NASA likes to remind us, "Launching …