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A home in space

A view of the International Space Station in orbit

A view of the International Space Station from space shuttle Atlantis

These images of the International Space Station (ISS) were taken from the space shuttle Atlantis as it made its departure from the Station in May, towards the conclusion of the STS-132 mission.

The STS-132 and ISS Expedition 23 crews concluded seven days of cooperative work onboard the shuttle and station. Undocking of the two spacecraft occurred at 10:22am (US CDT) on May 23, 2010. Earth and the blackness of space provide the backdrop for these scenes.

Links to the full-size, high-resolution versions of these photos are at the bottom of this story.

A view of the International Space Station in orbit

The International Space Station sails over the blue oceans below

A view of the International Space Station in orbit

Looking straight down from shuttle Atlantis, to a cloud-studded ocean.

A view of the International Space Station in orbit

Now flying over dry mountains, the slightly different angle enables other parts of the Station to come into better view.

A view of the International Space Station in orbit

A final farewell from Atlantis, with the dwindling Station just visible to the left of the shuttle's tail.

Links to full-size, high-resolution versions of the images (will open in new windows):

  1. International Space Station image 1
  2. International Space Station image 2
  3. International Space Station image 3
  4. International Space Station image 4
  5. International Space Station image 5

Images courtesy NASA.

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Shuttle video: STS-132 mission highlights

This NASA video highlights the achievements of the astronauts during the recent STS-132 mission of space shuttle Atlantis.

Adapted from information issued by NASA.

Shuttle video: STS-132 launch

Space shuttle Atlantis has made its last planned flight, taking equipment and supplies to the International Space Station. This NASA video shows highlights the rollout, countdown and launch.

Adapted from information issued by NASA.

Space shuttle Atlantis’ final mission

  • Final flight of Atlantis
  • Third-last shuttle flight
  • Carrying Russian module to the Space Station

One of the final space shuttle visits to the International Space Station began at 2:20pm Friday (all times in this story are US EDT) with the launch of Atlantis and six astronauts from NASA’s Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. The mission will deliver cargo, critical spare parts and a Russian laboratory to the station.

The third of five shuttle missions planned for 2010, this was the last planned launch for Atlantis. The Russian-built Mini Research Module-1 is inside the shuttle’s cargo bay. Also known as Rassvet (dawn in Russian), it will provide additional storage space and a new docking port for Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft. The laboratory will be attached to the bottom port of the station’s Zarya module.

Commander Ken Ham is joined on the STS-132 mission by Pilot Tony Antonelli and Mission Specialists Garrett Reisman, Michael Good, Steve Bowen, and Piers Sellers, all veteran space fliers. Good and Sellers rode Atlantis into orbit on their first space missions in 2009 and 2002, respectively.

The shuttle crew is scheduled to dock to the station at 10:27am on Sunday, May 16. The mission’s three spacewalks will focus on storing spare components outside the station, including six batteries, a communications antenna and parts for the Canadian Dextre robotic arm.

After completing the 12-day STS-132 mission, the shuttle’s first landing opportunity at Kennedy is scheduled for 8:44am on Wednesday, May 26. STS-132 is the 132nd shuttle flight, the 32nd flight for Atlantis and the 34th shuttle mission dedicated to station assembly and maintenance.

Adapted from information issued by NASA.