NASA’s Shuttle Training Aircraft – used to teach astronauts to fly the shuttle itself – caught this beautiful image of final launch of the space shuttle Atlantis on July 8, 2011. The final mission: STS-135. (sniff!)
Atlantis left Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida at 10:29 a.m. CDT (15:29 UTC). The shuttle’s final mission: the International Space Station (ISS) for a last supply run.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.