Picture of the Day: Space Shuttle Atlantis in 1996

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NASA announced earlier this week that after Space Shuttle Atlantis flies sometime in June, the entire Space Shuttle spaceflight mission will come to an end after 135 flights. Atlantis, seen here in a 1996 NASA photograph as it was being moved from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A, was delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center in eastern Florida after construction by Rockwell International in Southern California back in April 1985. Over the past 25 years, Atlantis has flown more than 120 million miles in space, or enough to travel from the Earth to the Moon more than 500 times. STS-135, during which Atlantis will visit the International Space Station and deliver spare parts and supplies, will log an additional five million miles for Atlantis before it is donated to a museum.

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Image: NASA.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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