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Space History Photo: STS-27, Orbiter Atlantis, Liftoff

space history, space shuttle launch
Atlantis takes flight on Dec. 2, 1988. (Image credit: NASA.)

In this historic photo from the U.S. space agency, Space Shuttle Atlantis takes flight on its STS-27 mission on Dec. 2, 1988, 9:30 a.m. EST, utilizing 375,000 pounds thrust produced by its three main engines. The STS-27 was the third classified mission dedicated to the Department of Defense (DoD). After completion of mission, Orbiter Atlantis landed December 6, 1988, 3:36 p.m. PST at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

Each weekday, looks back at the history of spaceflight through photos (archive).

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The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the U.S. government agency in charge of the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.