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NASA Prepares For Launch Of Space Shuttle Atlantis

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL - JULY 08: (L-R) Space shuttle Atlantis STS-135 mission specialist Sandra Magnus, pilot Douglas Hurley, mission specialist Rex Walheim and Commander Christopher Ferguson walk out of the NASA Operations and Checkout building hours before their scheduled launch at Kennedy Space Center July 7, 2011 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Bad weather conditions threaten Atlantis' launch, which will mark the final liftoff in the 30-year-old space shuttle program. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The end of an era and the beginning of a new one

The space shuttle program came to a close on Thursday when Atlantis landed at Cape Canaveral. View photos of space travel's past, present and future.