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Shuttle Atlantis completes final space mission, lands at Canaveral

RIA Novosti

18:3426/05/2010 MOSCOW, May 26 (RIA Novosti) - The space shuttle Atlantis with a crew of six landed at Cape Canaveral in Florida on Wednesday, completing its final space mission.

NASA broadcast Atlantis's final landing on its website.

Atlantis delivered the Russian Rassvet (MIM-1) research module and spare parts to the International Space Station (ISS). During the 12-day mission, the astronauts made three spacewalks and replaced some equipment, including batteries.

NASA plans to scrap the shuttle program by the end of the year. The U.S. space agency says the shuttles are outdated and too expensive to maintain.

There are two scheduled shuttle flights remaining - Discovery will be launched to the ISS in September, while the planned mid-November launch of Endeavour is expected to mark the end of the U.S. program.

Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft will take U.S. astronauts and cargos to the space station after NASA stops launching its shuttles.

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