On July 8, 2011, my family and I had the pleasure of attending NASA's final launch of the space shuttle program. From the turn-basin at Kennedy Space Center, we watched Atlantis rise above launch pad 39A for her final mission. We were standing a mere 3.4 miles away from pad 39A, we were in awe. (Photo credit: Lucy West)
"3-2-1 -zero and Liftoff!..." ↑
"And liftoff, for the final liftoff of Atlantis!
On the shoulders of the space shuttle, America will continue the dream ..." ↑
"Atlantis roll - Houston." / "Roger roll - Atlantis" ↑
Atlantis roaring and soaring! ↑
Thick exhaust plume hanging in the air after launch.
Astrovan and Closeout Crew van sitting in foreground. ↑
Pad 39A post launch. ↑
Pre launch: NASA chopper with armed protection surveying the area as the
Astrovan transports the astronauts to pad 39A. ↑ (Photo credit: Lorna West)
Astrovan transporting STS-135 astronauts to pad 39A ↑
Post launch: Open VAB door revealing Crawler ↑
A close up peek at the Crawler ↑
Launch Control Center / Firing Room 4, (and one of my favorite buildings in the world!)
This video was taken by my stepson, Jesse Binnall, from his pad: