Final Nasa space shuttle lands

2011-07-21 12:27

Cape Town - Space shuttle Atlantis has landed at Kennedy Space Centre on Thursday, ending the Nasa shuttle programme.

The shuttle completed it final supply mission to the International Space Station and landed earlier than scheduled.

Many Nasa employees were emotional at the final landing of the shuttle which began 30 years ago.

Two shuttles, including crew, were lost over the period of the programme.

US President Barack Obama has said that Nasa should focus on further goals of sending people to Mars and in the meantime, private companies should develop the ability to send rockets into low earth orbit.

It will cost the US about $50m per seat to send astronauts to the ISS via the Soyuz rocket programme.

Hundreds welcomed the shuttle which will go on display following its decommissioning.

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  • jjacgilbert - 2011-07-21 12:41

    Much safer than a taxi.

  • Tekwini Durban - 2011-07-21 12:41

    I remember watching the first Space Shuttle launch live on TV on 12 April 1981, and was able to watch the final landing of Atlantis live on NASA TV earlier this morning, bringing to a close the final chapter in 30 years' service to the advancement of space flight and exploration. I will always remember the crews of Challenger and Columbia, who gave their lives in the pursuit of this goal and challenge - Per Aspera, Ad Astra! - 2011-07-21 13:22

      Sheesh! how time flies! I remember staying up to watch Sputnik pass over the world as well as Yuri Gargarin and John Glenn and being totally enthralled by it all. Now it is like booking a flight from Durban to Joburg - just a bit further and more costly!!!

      santoro29 - 2011-07-21 14:54


  • TribalSoul - 2011-07-21 12:48

    It's mind blowing to think people have gone into space, and just about everything that I watch on Discovery channel and History etc have gotten their facts and theories from these missions and explorations (including the various satelites and cameras in space right now). It's awe inspiring really it is, and I am for one sad that it's ended!

  • Peacock - 2011-07-21 13:08

    Absolutely tremendous. From the Moon and to the ISS, Can not wait for the next step. Well done to all astronauts

  • Darren - 2011-07-21 13:15

    …can't Nasa send Julius Mal-ema to Mars, in a choorie spaceship?

      Parko - 2011-07-21 13:51

      He'll nationalize everything once he lands.

      Ricksta - 2011-07-21 14:38

      But at least he'll have plenty of land to distribute !!

  • Mac - 2011-07-21 13:25

    End of an era - and what an era it was!

  • JWT - 2011-07-21 13:52

    All people at the landing site / welcoming committee should have dressed up as apes, would have been the best laugh in NASA history!

      Mike_L - 2011-07-21 14:05


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