A perfect landing to end an era with going by what was reported by the Daily Mail of the United Kingdom. The 135th mission of the shuttle fleet.
Main gear touchdown was at 5:57am with wheels stop about a minute later.
Shuttle sommander Christopher Ferguson radio back to Mission Control in Houston, Texas "Mission complete, Houston." "Job well done, America" was the reply.
Being the type of rascal that I am, Mission Control had to have been reading from a script. They should have just said "Job well done, Atlantis" and be done with it that way.
I have to question those in Washington DC who speak with fork tongue. Out of one side of their mounth, the fools say they are for further space exploration. Then out of the other side, they starve NASA of the funds to keep Manned Spaceflight operational.
There should have been someone to stand up against the current and told President George Bush that we should keep flying the shuttle until its replacement is DECLARED OPERATIONAL!
Maybe in another timeline that happened - but not in ours. Boeing, Space X, and the others will eventualy come online while in the meantime, Russia soaks the United States for every penny it can get out of us to haul a astronaut up to the International Space Station.
This state of affairs is just plain wrong in my opionion.
1. Daily Mail. "Home at last: Atlantis makes historic final landing as Nasa's 30-year shuttle programme comes to a glorious end" July 21, 2011. ( http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2017122/Atlantis-landing-Nasas-30-year-space-shuttle-programme-comes-end.html ). images from same news article.