Cape Canaveral: The shuttle Atlantis astronauts fired their spaceship's braking rockets to leave orbit on Thursday, aiming to conclude the final US space shuttle mission with a predawn landing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The shuttle was targeted to land at its home base at 0957 GMT.
Atlantis' return from the 135th shuttle mission caps a 30-year program that made spaceflight appear routine, despite two fatal accidents that killed 14 astronauts and destroyed two of NASA's five spaceships.
The last accident investigation board recommended the shuttles be retired after construction was finished on the space station, a $ 100 billion project of 16 nations. That milestone was reached this year....more
02:38 PM, Jul 21, 2011