Commander Chris Ferguson (r.) shakes hands with pilot Doug Hurley after landing Space Shuttle Atlantis at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla. on July 21. The landing of Atlantis marks the end of NASA's 30 year space shuttle program. Third from right is mission specialist Sandra Mangus and Rex Walheim.
This image provided by NASA shows the space shuttle Atlantis photographed from the International Space Station as the orbiting complex and the shuttle performed final separation in the early hours of Tuesday July 19. NASA/AP
Johnson Space Center employees Jeremy Rea (r.) and Shelley Stortz hold hands as they watch space shuttle Atlantis land Thursday, July 21, in Houston. The landing of Atlantis brings the space shuttle program to an end.
David J. Phillip/AP
Space Shuttle Atlantis lands at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla. Thursday, July 21. Terry Renna/AP
The Great Salt Lake in Utah serves as a striking visual marker for the STS-135 astronauts orbiting over North America in the space shuttle Atlantis, July 9. A sharp line across the lake's center is caused by the restriction in water flow from the railroad causeway. NASA/AP
In an occurrence which became somewhat of a tradition for shuttle crews and those of the International Space Station expeditions, the Expedition 28 crew and the STS-135 Atlantis astronauts formed a microgravity circle for a portrait. The U.S. flag pictured was flown on the first space shuttle mission, STS-1, and flew on this mission to be presented to the space station crew. NASA/AP
A 4 by 6-inch embroidery and crochet project of silk and cotton threads, ribbons and beads of moonscape, was created by Houstonian artist Rachel Hobson, who won a contest and saw her art blasted into space aboard space shuttle Atlantis. Rachel Hobson/Reuters
NASA astronaut Mike Fossum waits at an International Space Station's pressurized mating adapter (PMA-2) docked to the space shuttle Atlantis, as the station's robotic system moves the failed pump module (out of frame) over to the spacewalking astronaut and the shuttle's cargo bay, July 12. NASA/Reuters
This panoramic view was photographed from the International Space Station, looking past the docked space shuttle Atlantis' cargo bay and part of the station including a solar array panel toward Earth, July 14, as the joint complex passed over the southern hemisphere. Aurora Australis or the Southern Lights can be seen on Earth's horizon and a number of stars are visible also. NASA/AP
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr. tears up as he remarks on the successful launch of the last space shuttle, during his opening statement before the House Science, Space and Technology Committee hearing on A Review of NASA's Space Launch System, in Washington, July 12. Molly Riley/Reuters
Spacewalker Ron Garan rides on the International Space Station's robotic arm, with the Earth as a backdrop, as he transfers a failed pump module to the cargo bay of space shuttle Atlantis during the final spacewalk. NASA/Reuters
Clockwise from lower left corner, NASA astronaut Chris Ferguson, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov, NASA astronauts Mike Fossum, Sandy Magnus, Doug Hurley and Rex Walheim, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Satoshi Furukawa, Russian cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko and NASA astronaut Ron Garan meet in the International Space Station's U.S. Node 2. NASA/AP
A 400 millimeter lens was used by an International space station crew member to capture this image of the space shuttle Atlantis as it drew close to the station for docking. NASA/Reuters
NASA astronaut Rex Walheim, STS-135 mission specialist, looks through an overhead window on the aft flight deck of the space shuttle Atlantis during the mission's second day of activities in Earth orbit. NASA/Reuters
An aerial view of the space shuttle Atlantis as it roars into space over Cape Canaveral, Fla. on July 8. Four astronauts are taking space shuttle Atlantis for one last ride, the very last one of the 30-year space shuttle era. Reinhold Matay/AP
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden hugs Launch Director Michael Leinbach (r.) in the firing room of the Launch Control Center shortly after the space shuttle Atlantis launched. Bill Ingalls/NASA/Reuters
The space shuttle Atlantis STS-135 lifts off from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Gary Hershorn/Reuters
Warren Hinson, a NASA Emergency Response Team (ERT) member, keeps an eye out while flying near the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) prior to the launch of space shuttle Atlantis. Bill Ingalls/NASA/AP
Space shuttle Atlantis Commander Chris Ferguson gestures as he is strapped into his seat aboard the orbiter before launch in this image from NASA TV. NASA TV/Reuters
Spectators watch the space shuttle Atlantis STS-135 lift off from launch pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. Scott Audette/Reuters
Spectators watch space shuttle Atlantis lift off from the Kennedy Space Center. Terry Renna/AP
Onlookers take cover under umbrellas as space shuttle Atlantis sits on launch pad 39A during rainy weather at the Kennedy Space Center on July 7. Chip Litherland/Reuters
The space shuttle Atlantis astronauts left to right, mission specialists Rex Walheim, Sandy Magnus, pilot Doug Hurley and commander Chris Ferguson, leave the operations and check-out building on the way to the pad at the Kennedy Space Center on July 8 in Cape Canaveral, Fla. Terry Renna/AP
NASA astronaut Rex Walheim works on emergency egress procedures with a trainer as the crew of STS-135 trains on June 29 in the Crew Compartment Trainer (CCT) II mockup at the Johnson Space Center, in Houston. The training marked the crew's final scheduled session in JSC Building 9. Rex Walheim/AP
Space Shuttle Atlantis is seen on the pad at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla. Atlantis and a crew of four are scheduled to launch on the 135th and final space shuttle launch for NASA. Stan Honda/AP
NASA astronaut Sandy Magnus, STS-135 mission specialist, flies in a T-38 trainer on her way from Houston to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida on June 20 for the final Terminal Countdown Demonstration Test (TCDT). The crew is preparing for space shuttle Atlantis' scheduled liftoff on July 8. Sandy Magnus/AP
Maundy Thursday: Pope Francis washed the feet of 12 disabled people on Maundy Thursday, saying the Catholic Church must always be a refuge for the needy.
Philip Pullella, Reuters /
April 17, 2014
Pope Francis, starting four packed days culminating in Easter, said the Catholic Church must always be a refuge for the needy and later washed the feet of 12 disabled people at a traditional Holy Thursday ceremony.