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Space shuttle Atlantis lands safely for the last time in its career (VIDEO)


Space Shuttle Atlantis landed safely and "as smooth as silk" for the last time in its flight career. The crew of STS-132 touched down at 8:48 a.m. EDT after a successful mission to deliver the Russian-built Mini Research Module-1, also called Rassvet, to the International Space Station.

"It was smooth as silk. We were clearly riding in the middle of a fireball, and it was spectacular. The windows, all of them, were bright, brilliant orange. One of the neatest things was when we flew right into orbital sunrise." Commander Ken Ham said referring to the entry of Atlantis.

This flight was the last for Atlantis, which has more than 120 million miles under its belt, along with 25 years of service. The shuttle will be prepped for prelaunch as a backup for the STS-134 mission in the very rare case it should be needed as a rescue vehicle for Endeavour's flight next November.

"Atlantis treated us very well. She was just an incredible ship," Said Mission Specialist Michael Good. He went on to explain how precise the engines' burn was on deorbit and how well it performed.

The astronauts are scheduled to attend a welcome ceremony in Houston on Thursday and the public is welcome to attend. The event will take place at Ellington Field's NASA Hangar 276 at 4 p.m. CDT.

Watch the shuttle land in the VIDEO below.

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Atlantis Lands at Kennedy Space Center


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