Atlantis Shuttle Lifts Off
With the end of the space shuttle Atlantis's mission on Thursday, no American astronaut will be launched into space on NASA spacecraft until the agency's new Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle is developed in the coming years. In the meantime, the United States will rely on the Russian space program to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station.
(PICTURES: Milestones in American Space Flight)
Below are highlights of the shuttle program's last mission.