|Space Shuttle Atlantis Landed Back Safely at Kennedy Space Center|
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The space shuttle Atlantis landed back at the Kennedy Space Center after NASA's 135th and final shuttle voyage. With this final landing on Thursday predawn Atlantis completed a 13-day cargo run to the International Space Station and a 30-year odyssey for NASA's shuttle program.
Atlantis' successful space station restocking mission closed out the shuttle era.
"Mission complete, Houston," Ferguson radioed to Mission Control.
"Atlantis is home," said NASA control moments after its arrival at 5:56 a.m. ET. "Its journey complete. A moment to be savored."
Details of a follow-on program are still being awaited, but the idea is to manufacture new spaceships that can travel away from the station's 250-mile (400-km) orbit and send astronauts to the moon, asteroids and other destinations in deep space.