|Video Courtesy of NTDTV |
Space shuttle Atlantis came home safely, landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 8:48 a.m. EDT Wednesday.
This marks the completion of the successful 12-day mission by a six person crew, to install a mini Russian-made Research Module-1 called “Rassvet" ("dawn" in Russian) in the International Space Station. The module is in place so astronauts can conduct biotechnology, bioscience, and fluid particle experiments, as well as educational research.
This flight is 25-year-old Atlantis’ last hurrah. NASA has said it plans to retire Atlantis, keeping it on standby ready for emergency aid to space shuttle Endeavor’s flight, planned for November.
Atlantis flew its maiden flight Oct. 3, 1985. Since then the ship has gone into space 32 times, traveling over 120 million miles, according to NASA.
NASA’s shuttle program expires at the end of this year, with only two more space flights scheduled. In addition to Endeavor’s flight, space shuttle Discovery is scheduled to blast off on Sept. 16.
President Obama has proposed a $40 million regional economic stimulus plan to help the thousands of Florida workers who will be out of jobs when the shuttle program ends.