Atlantis has landed!

The space shuttle Atlantis has landed following the 12 day STS132 mission to the International Space Station.

Atlantis’ crew woke at 5:20 BST to “Supermassive Black Hole” by Muse, played for Commander Ken Ham. The payload bay doors closed at 10:30 in preparation for the first landing opportunity. Mission control gave the go-ahead for a deorbital burn at 12:41. This slowed the shuttle down and caused it to start falling. Atlantis reentered the Earth’s atmosphere at 13:16, glowing brightly as it did, and then crossed Florida Everglades and passed over Lake Okeechobee, triggering dual sonic booms about four minutes before landing at around 13:48 at the Kennedy Space Center:

Following switching off the vehicle, letting it get cooled down, getting checked over and having a bit of a walkabout, the astronauts found themselves in a press conference:

NASA also reviewed the events of the mission, both in terms of objectives and putting on NASA TV and its Youtube Channel a selection of highlights:

A few more shots of the ISS and shuttle against the Sun (sporting sunspot 1072) have been published (the third one is in the comments). If you want to know where satellites are in your sky, then check out Heavens Above. The next mission will be STS133, presently set for the 16th of September.

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