Space shuttle Atlantis (STS-135) touches down at NASA's Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility (SLF), completing its 13-day mission to the International Space Station (ISS) and the final flight of the Space Shuttle Program, early Thursday morning, July 21, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Space shuttle Atlantis is slowly towed from the Shuttle Landing Facility to an orbiter processing facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the last time on July 21, 2011. A crowd of NASA workers is on hand for an employee appreciation event.
An American flag flaps proudly in the wind in front of space shuttle Atlantis on the Shuttle Landing Facility's Runway 15 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The thousands of workers who have processed, launched and landed the space shuttles for more than three decades welcome Atlantis home to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida during an employee appreciation event.
Space shuttle Atlantis is slowly towed from the Shuttle Landing Facility to an orbiter processing facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the last time. Atlantis' final return from space at 5:57 a.m. EDT secured the space shuttle fleet's place in history and brought a close to the America's Space Shuttle Program.
Workers measured and marked in bright red the letters "MLG" at the spot where space shuttle Atlantis' main landing gear came to rest after the vehicle's final return from space.
Atlantis' crew stands before the orbiter following a successful landing on July 21, 2011.
Space shuttle Atlantis is surrounded by people following its landing at Kennedy Space Center, July 21, 2011.
The Crew Transport Vehicle used to move the shuttle astronauts gleams in the morning sun, July 21, 2011.
At the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the drag chute trailing space shuttle Atlantis is illuminated by the xenon lights on Runway 15 as the shuttle lands for the final time. Securing the space shuttle fleet's place in history, Atlantis marked the 26th nighttime landing of NASA's Space Shuttle Program and the 78th landing at Kennedy.
Space shuttle Atlantis gleamed in the darkness at it touched down on the Shuttle Landing Facility's Runway 15 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the final time. Atlantis' wheels came to a stop at 5:57:54 am on Thursday, July 21, 2011.
This NASA TV still shows the head's up display view from pilot Doug Hurley's seat on space shuttle Atlantis during the final space shuttle landing on July 21, 2011 at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, which occured before dawn at 5:56 a.m. EDT.
Hundreds of people flocked to NASA's Johnson Space Center in the wee hours of July 21, 2011 to watch the final space shuttle landing in history live on a giant Jumbotron screen.
This still from a NASA broadcast shows the ground track of space shuttle Atlantis (red triangle) as it approaches the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to make the final landing of the shuttle era on July 21, 2011 during the STS-135 mission.
NASA's space shuttle Atlantis sits atop the landing strip at the Shuttle Landing Facility of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida after a flawless final landing before dawn on July 21, 2011. The landing ended NASA's 30-year space shuttle program.
Space shuttle Atlantis is seen on the runway after making a predawn landing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center on July 21, 2011 to end the agency's 30-year shuttle program. It was the 135th and final shuttle flight.
NASA chief Bolden speaks with a journalist on the runway with shuttle Atlantis in the background.
The STS-135 crew poses for pictures following landing of shuttle Atlantis on July 21, 2011.
The crew of Atlantis crew discussing a humorous topic during the post-landing press conference.
The crew of space shuttle Atlantis' STS-135 and final Space Shuttle Program Flight, participates in a news conference in the Press Site auditorium at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on landing day. Seen here are STS-135 Commander Chris Ferguson (left), Mission Specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim and Pilot Doug Hurley.
A sign along the road at the NASA Kennedy Space Center shows the countdown to the scheduled landing of the space shuttle Atlantis, Wednesday, July 20, 2011, in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis is scheduled to land early Thursday morning, bringing an end to its STS-135 mission and the space shuttle program.
Space shuttle Atlantis soars to a smooth touchdown during the final landing of the 30-year shuttle program. Landing occured at about 5:56 a.m.EDT on July 21, 2011 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Atlantis' name is visible below the crew cabin on the forward fuselage of the orbiter vehicle.
The starboard side of space shuttle atlantis bears the NASA logo, the words "United States" and the American flag.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, left, and Robert Cabana, director Kennedy Space Center, react to employee Kenneth C. McElroy, early Thursday July 21, 2011, after Bolden and Cabana addressed employees prior to the final landing of the space shuttle Atlantis at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
The space shuttle Atlantis pulls away from the International Space Station on July 19, 2011 after undocking for the final time. Astronaut Ron Garan tweeted this picture from the Space Station: "The view #FromSpace of Shuttle #Atlantis flyaround of #ISS today (7/19/11) from Sergei's bedroom window."
Astronaut Ron Garan tweeted this picture from the International Space Station: "The Last view #FromSpace of Shuttle #Atlantis Taken today (7/19/11) from Sergei's #ISS bedroom window."
This image of the International Space Station was taken by Atlantis' STS-135 crew during a fly around as the shuttle departed the station on Tuesday, July 19, 2011, FLight Day 12. STS-135 is the final shuttle mission to the orbital laboratory.