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Photos of NASA's Last Space Shuttle Launch

Watching Atlantis Launch

Roger Guillemette for SPACE.com

Spectators in the foreground watch as Atlantis launches on its final flight, July 8, 2011.

Heads-down, That's How Atlantis Rolls

NASA TV

Shuttle Atlantis rolls into the heads-down position after launch, July 8, 2011.

Atlantis Smokin'

NASA TV

Shuttle Atlantis climbs to space on a column of smoke, July 8, 2011.

Atlantis Flies into Clouds

NASA (via Facebook)

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.

Atlantis' External Tank Camera's View of Launch

NASA TV

The camera mounted on Atlantis' external tank shows a unique view looking back towards the ground as Atlantis launches.

Close-out Crews Shares Message Before Last Launch

NASA TV

A member of the shuttle Atlantis' close-out crew shares a message before the shuttle's last launch.

Atlantis' Solid Rocket Boosters Separate

NASA TV

One of Atlantis' solid rocket boosters can be seen at lower left falling back to Earth, July 8, 2011.

Shuttle Atlantis at Launch Pad

collectSPACE/Robert Z. Pearlman

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 on Launch Pad 39A

NASA/Troy Cryder

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.

Bright Lights, Last Space Shuttle

NASA/Frank Michaux

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.

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