When Atlantis touched down on runway 15 of NASA's Kennedy Space Center early Thursday morning, a record crowd of more than 2,000 was there to welcome the captain and crew back to Earth. It was more than just a homecoming for the four-person team that traveled to the International Space Station, though; this was the end of the Space Shuttle program. To commemorate the end of an era, Nature tied together footage from all 135 missions to produce the eight-minute video embedded below.
"NASA's 30-year Space Transportation System (STS) program came to an end on 21st July 2011," the video's description reads. "The Space Shuttle fleet delivered the Hubble Space Telescope, the International Space Station, and dozens of satellites, space probes, crew and supplies. Two Shuttles were lost: Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003. The touchdown of Atlantis at Kennedy Space Center marked the end of an era, after 135 missions. This video shows all of them in chronological order."
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