Space Shuttle Atlantis's final mission

atlantis ISS docking

The picture above is an amazing photo showing the space shuttle Atlantis about to dock with the International Space Station on its final mission. They passed in front of the sun for a half-second and a photographer in Spain was able to capture the shot.

You can see the entire picture here, as well as a realtime video and slowed-down video of the event.

After they finished docking, they passed in front of the sun again and the photographer took another picture, which you can see here.

This was Atlantis’s last mission before being retired; it landed this morning at Cape Canaveral. There are only two more space shuttle missions planned, one each for the Discovery and Endeavor. But the shuttles will not be disassembled; they’ll be kept on standby for emergency use in case the International Space Station ever needs rescue or emergency assistance. Without the space shuttles, the space station will be served by foreign spacecraft.

You can read more about the final voyage of the Atlantis at the New York Times.

Image source: axilone.com

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6 Responses to Space Shuttle Atlantis's final mission

  1. Alex Perel says:

    How did it not get burned and crushed. Also, a split-second and the person got the photo, wow. Have we ever gotten a picture like this before?

  2. Charles says:

    I’m wondering the same thing as Alex, but also how far was the Atlantis from the sun? Also, why is the sun just a plane sphere? Shouldnt there be solar flares, sun spots and other features?

  3. Charles says:

    I’m wondering the same thing as Alex, but also how far was the Atlantis from the sun? Also, why is the sun just a plane sphere? Shouldnt there be sun spots and other features?

  4. Will Eye Am says:

    well guys, this picture could look like Atlantis is really close but probably not. The circumference of it is quite large so that probably tricks your eyes into thinking its feet away.

  5. Johnny S. says:

    that is an awesome picture. and will eye am actually it is a sphere so you have to do 4/3 pie r cubed to find the volume
    haha

  6. Dean says:

    If the Atlantis had so many succesful missions, why did it have to retire? Was it out of date?

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