The NASA space shuttle Atlantis made its final landing this morning when it touched down at Kennedy Space Center to wrap up a 12-day mission.
This was the last scheduled flight for Atlantis, which made its maiden voyage in 1985. With this mission under its belt, the spacecraft has logged in nearly 120 million miles in its career.
The six-person Atlantis crew landed at 8:48am EDT today, precisely on schedule. The shuttle had lifted off from earth on its final mission May 14 and rendezvoused with the International Space Station two days later.
At this point, NASA plans to immediately retire Atlantis . The space agency has scheduled two more shuttle launches before the entire fleet is expected to be retired in November. However, some observers inside and outside of NASA say that they expect delays will force the program to be extended well into 2011.
Over the course of the last mission, the Atlantis' astronauts installed a Russian-made module to the station, adding space for scientific research and storage.
The astronauts also installed a communications dish antenna on the outside of the station and six new batteries on the space station's solar array.
The next space shuttle flights will focus on ferrying spare parts and equipment to the space station.
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