Shuttle Atlantis lands, end of an era in space exploration - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Shuttle Atlantis lands, end of an era in space exploration

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"Having fired here the imagination of a generation. A ship like no other. It's place in history secured. The space shuttle pulls into port for the last time. It's voyage at an end," said NASA spokesman Rob Navias.

After 30 years and 135 missions, the Shuttle Program came to an end Thursday morning.  Shuttle Atlantis touched down at 4:58 a.m. Central Time after its mission to the International Space Station.

"Hey Butch thanks for everything on entry. You guys did a spectacular job. You always make it look easy. We are going to sign off here and it's going to be hard, but we are going to walk off Atlantis," Commander Chris Ferguson said about an hour after touching down at Cape Canaveral, Florida.

This landing comes 50 years to the day after Gus Grissom became the second American in space, aboard Liberty Bell 7.

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