Atlantis' final flight: A visual history of NASA's shuttle program
The last shuttle lifted off Friday, ending a 30-year program known as much for its tragedies as its successes
A young boy plays with a toy shuttle Thursday at the Kennedy Space Center REUTERS/Hans Deryk

NASA's shuttle program got its final sendoff Friday, with the launch of Atlantis. While critics debate the future of NASA, families and fans have driven miles and camped out near the Kennedy Space Center in Florida in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the last space shuttle to take flight. More than 350 people from 16 countries have flown on the shuttles, and now, after four decades, eight presidents, 135 launches, billions of dollars, and two major tragedies, it's curtains. Here, a look back at the program's major milestones:



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