Last US space shuttle leaves int'l station

By REUTERS
July 19, 2011 10:32

 
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The last US space shuttle departed the International Space Station on Tuesday, ending a 12-year program to build and service the orbital outpost, the primary legacy of NASA's shuttle fleet.

Shuttle Atlantis commander Chris Ferguson and pilot Doug Hurley gently pulsed their spaceship's steering jets at 2:28 a.m. EDT (0628 GMT) to pull away from the station as they sailed about 250 miles (400 km) over the Pacific Ocean.

"Thanks so much for hosting us," Ferguson radioed to the station crew. "It's been an absolute pleasure."

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