Today marks an important day in history as thirty years and 135 missions after its debut, NASA launched a space shuttle for the final time. It was a bitter sweet moment as Atlantis streaked into orbit from Kennedy Space Center.
Atlantis and its four-person crew are embarking on a 12-day mission to the International Space Station.
The liftoff at 11:26 a.m. thrilled a crowd of an estimated 1 million people who packed viewing sites along the Florida coast for one last look at a spaceship that captured the imagination and attention of fans around the world.
The mission is the 33rd for Atlantis which first flew on Oct. 3, 1985.
Atlantis is hauling nearly 10,000 pounds of supplies — about a third of it food — and equipment that should keep the International Space Station stocked through next year.
On July 20, at Kennedy Space Center, the shuttle program will officially end with the call of wheel stop.
After retirement, Atlantis is destined for its new home at the KSC Visitor Complex.
Click here for pictures of Atlantis over the years: http://mediagallery.usatoday.com/G2440