The Atlantis Launches: A Blast Off Roundup

An instant guide to drawing out the end of the shuttle program

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If you missed missed today's launch of the space shuttle Atlantis--or just want to relive the culmination of 35 years of shuttle launches--there are plenty of ways to make the moment last. Here are our favorites.

  • The Washington Post set the stage and filled in any gaps in your NASA knowledge with a visual history of the shuttle program.
  • Here are the final two minutes from the launching pad at Cape Canaveral

  • The Washington Post's Jason Samenow live-blogged the perilous pre-launch weather conditions.
  • CNN's live-blog impressed us by being thorough, and also for starting at 2:30 a.m. eight hours before the launch and was  thorough.
  • At The Awl, Brent Cox explained why he wasn't buying the day's space race nostalgia.
  • At ABC, Matt Gutman got up early and mingled with the shuttle watchers who descended on Florida to pay their respects.
  • For all the fanfare, there's a purpose to this mission beyond just closing out 35 years of shuttle launches, as NASA's Robert Mase explains.
  • The Houston Chronicle called out Washington politicians in real time for post-launch flip flops on the space program.
  • The Orlando Sentinel posted this fascinating Reuters video report about the economic impact of the program's cancellation on the central Florida economy.
  • This Getty photo of the astronauts before the launch is guaranteed to result in Right Stuff flashbacks.

  • What the launch looked like from the Port Everglade Locks.

  • Retired NASA flight director Wayne Hale offered another handshot launch video.

  • On Twitter, the Kennedy Space Center passed along a photo of the launch taken from inside the Shuttle Training Aircraft, NASA's space shuttle simulator.

  • snagged NASA's 64-person VIP launch guest list, which included incongruous (and delightful) names like Joe Gibbs, Alan Parsons, Eric Holder, Geraldo Rivera, Kevin Sorbo, and Jimmy Buffet.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.