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Space Shuttle Atlantis: Last Landing For NASA's Historic Program (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 07/21/11 08:49 AM ET   Updated: 09/20/11 06:12 AM ET

(AP/THE HUFFINGTON POST) HOUSTON -- Applause erupted at NASA's Mission Control in Houston when the last space shuttle landed - but it wasn't from the two dozen men and one woman working the final flight.

The applause and emotion came from the flight controllers' families. The controllers themselves didn't show any reaction immediately, busy working the final landing of the 30-year shuttle program in Florida.

But nine minutes later, the emotions started to come to the surface. That's when controllers stood up, shook hands, laughed a bit, patted each on their backs and signed memorabilia.

Even though some of them will lose their jobs and the shuttle era ended, tears were absent.

Flip through photos from the shuttle's last landing (below), then view the most iconic images from this history of space shuttle Atlantis. For more, view our slideshow of 11 memorable moments from NASA's 30-year shuttle program.


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Filed by Catharine Smith  |