Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2011 June 20
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Last Roll Out of a NASA Space Shuttle
Credit & Copyright: Ben Cooper (Launch Photography)

Explanation: In the final move of its kind, NASA's space shuttle Atlantis was photographed earlier this month slowly advancing toward Launch Pad 39A, where it is currently scheduled for a July launch to the International Space Station. The mission, designated STS-135, is the 135th and last mission for a NASA space shuttle. Atlantis and its four-person crew will be carrying, among other things, the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Raffaello to bring key components and supplies to the ISS. Pictured above, the large Shuttle Crawler Transporter rolls the powerful orbiter along the five-kilometer long road at less than two kilometers per hour. Over 15,000 spectators, some visible on the right, were on hand for the historic roll out.

Tomorrow's picture: all the sunsets

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