After 30 years and 135 missions, residents and visitors to Florida's Space Coast crowd the new A. Max Brewer Bridge in Titusville to see the rocket's red glare of NASA's Space Shuttle Program soar for the last time on July 8, 2011.
After 30 years and 135 missions, invited guests congregate along the NASA Causeway to see the rocket's red glare of NASA's Space Shuttle Program soar for the last time, on July 8, 2011
After 30 years and 135 missions, residents and visitors to Florida's Space Coast traverse the waters near Port Canaveral to see the rocket's red glare of NASA's Space Shuttle Program soar for the last time, July 8, 2011.
Shuttle Atlantis is seen a few moments into its final flight on July 8, 2011.
Dressed in their bright-orange launch-and-entry suits, the final four astronauts to launch aboard a space shuttle wave to media and employees cheering them on in front of the Astronaut Crew Quarters in the Operations and Checkout Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 8, 2011. From left, are STS-135 Mission Specialists Rex Walheim and Sandy Magnus, Pilot Doug Hurley, and Commander Chris Ferguson.
The space shuttle Atlantis' last launch on July 8, 2011 is seen from above through the window of a Shuttle Training Aircraft.
Atlantis just clears the tower in this closer view of the launch on July 8, 2011.
Shuttle Atlantis launched on mission STS-135 July 8, 2011.
Shuttle Atlantis clears the tower, July 8, 2011.
NASA astronaut Mike Massimino, left, and Sesame Street's Elmo speak at the STS-135 Tweetup on July 7, 2011 at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Elmo asked the astronauts questions about living and working in space.
Atlantis appears to fly past flags at Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on July 8, 2011.
Spectators in the foreground watch as Atlantis launches on its final flight, July 8, 2011.
Shuttle Atlantis rolls into the heads-down position after launch, July 8, 2011.
Shuttle Atlantis climbs to space on a column of smoke, July 8, 2011.
With the International Space Station flying 220 miles high & east of Christchurch, New Zealand, space shuttle Atlantis launched at 11:29 a.m. EDT, July 8, 2011.
The camera mounted on Atlantis' external tank shows a unique view looking back towards the ground as Atlantis launches.
A member of the shuttle Atlantis' close-out crew shares a message before the shuttle's last launch.
One of Atlantis' solid rocket boosters can be seen at lower left falling back to Earth, July 8, 2011.
The space shuttle Atlantis stands poised for its final liftoff from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Space shuttle Atlantis is revealed at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A following retraction of the pad's Rotating Service Structure on July 7.
Space shuttle Atlantis, attached to its bright-orange external fuel tank and twin solid rocket boosters, is bathed in xenon lights and takes center stage on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in this aerial image taken from a NASA helicopter in the predawn hours just before launch on July 8, 2011.
A pair of lightning strikes occurred near the space shuttle Atlantis on Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on July 7. The first struck the water tower 515 feet from the pad and the second struck the beach area northeast of the pad. Early data indicate no issues with the shuttle or its systems. Credit: NASA
Threatening clouds hover over the shuttle Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Pad 39A on July 7.