Atlantis Launches for Final Time

Space shuttle Atlantis makes its final launch.

Space Shuttle Atlantis,shown here taking off, has just begun its slow journey to retirement.

Space Shuttle Atlantis,shown here taking off, has just begun its slow journey to retirement.

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Space shuttle Atlantis made its final launch at 11:26 pm Eastern Time in front of an estimated 750,000 people at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

"Atlantis is flexing its muscles one final time," said Ascent Commentator Rob Navias from the Mission Control Center in Houston.

The 12-day mission will end NASA's 30-year space shuttle program. Get live commentary and watch video at NASA's website.