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Space shuttle Atlantis begins Florida retirement

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Space shuttle Atlantis begins Florida retirement


You thought the Space Shuttle had been retired?
Two of them have already been turned into museum pieces and now the last – Atlantis - has made its final journey to the Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex in Florida.
The shuttle will be the star attraction, suspended from the ceiling to simulate the craft in orbit.
Atlantis made the 16 kilometre road trip on the back of a 76-wheel transporter.
Crews had to move street lights, road signs and even a high-voltage power line along the route to allow the shuttle to make its last trip.
Atlantis flew its last of 33 missions in July last year. It was also the final flight of NASA’s 30-year shuttle programme.
The crew members from that concluding journey were due to meet the craft after it arrived at the visitor centre.
Together with Endeavour and Discovery, Atlantis is one of three surviving craft.
Two shuttles were lost during missions.
Challenger exploded in 1986 while Columbia disintegrated during descent in 2003.
Meanwhile NASA’s space mission is changing. It’s now under orders to build a giant rocket to go beyond Earth’s orbit.

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