The space shuttle Atlantis lifted off for its final mission Friday morning.

Thousands gathered to watch the blast off, the final of the 30-year-old shuttle program, CNN reported.


The four-member crew is embarking on a 12-day mission in which they'll deliver supplies to the International Space Station.

The space shuttle program was commissioned by President Richard Nixon in 1972, three years after a man was put on the moon in the Apollo program.

Columbia, the first shuttle, went into space in 1981, and in 134 missions, five shuttles have carried 355 astronauts into space.


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