Bright xenon lights usher space shuttle Atlantis down a 3.4-mile stretch of river rocks as the vehicle embarks on its historic final journey from the Vehicle Assembly Building to Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. "Rollout," as it's called, began at 8:42 p.m. EDT. It will take the crawler-transporter about six hours to carry Atlantis, attached to its external fuel tank and solid rocket boosters atop a mobile launcher platform, to the seaside launch pad. The milestone move paves the way for the launch of the STS-135 mission to the International Space Station, targeted for July 8.
STS-135 will be the 33rd flight of Atlantis, the 37th shuttle mission to the space station, and the 135th and final mission of NASA's Space Shuttle Program. For more information visit, www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/sts135/index.html. Photo credit: NASA/Jack Pfaller