Eight million kilometres later, and Atlantis has arrived home with a thud, and likely a few tears in NASA employees’ eyes.
Touching down at the Kennedy Space centre in Florida early this morning, Commander Christopher Ferguson, Pilot Douglas Hurley, Mission Specialist 1 Sandra Magnus and Mission Specialist 2 Rex Walheim returned the STS-335 safely after the space program was disbanded.
While Atlantis’ last mission saw them travel eight million kilometres to top up the ISS with some valuable fuel, the total figure on its odometer over its 26-year history is around the 203 million kilometre mark. It appears the next trip for Atlantis is much closer to home, where it will be go on show at the Kennedy Space Center’s visitor centre. [The Guardian]