Alongside space shuttle Atlantis' final mission (photos)

Astronauts capture stunning images during mission STS-132, the final scheduled flight of space shuttle Atlantis.

Currently on its final trip of a career spanning 25 years and nearly 120 million miles since its delivery to Kennedy Space center in April 1985, NASA's primary flight shuttle, the space shuttle Atlantis, is nearing the end of mission STS-132. It is the vehicle's 32nd flight mission.

As part of STS-132, space shuttle Atlantis will deliver an integrated cargo carrier and a Russian-built mini research module to the International Space Station, and astronauts Michael Good, Garrett Reisman, and Steve Bowen are capturing some stunning images of the shuttle's final trip to the interstellar outpost.

Astronaut Garrett Reisman installs a second antenna for high-speed Ku-band transmissions during his seven-hour, 25-minute spacewalk during the second of three planned spacewalks for the STS-132 mission.
Astronaut Garrett Reisman installs a second antenna for high-speed Ku-band transmissions during his seven-hour, 25-minute spacewalk during the second of three planned spacewalks for the STS-132 mission. NASA

During the third spacewalk of mission STS-132, astronauts Michael Good (left) and Garrett Reisman peer through the aft flight deck windows of space shuttle Atlantis.
During the third spacewalk of mission STS-132, astronauts Michael Good (left) and Garrett Reisman peer through the aft flight deck windows of space shuttle Atlantis. NASA

Orbiting at an altitude of about 250 miles, space shuttle Atlantis' aft section is visible against the blue of Earth while it docks with the International Space Station during the STS-132 mission.
Orbiting at an altitude of about 250 miles, space shuttle Atlantis' aft section is visible against the blue of Earth while it docks with the International Space Station during the STS-132 mission. NASA

With its cabin and open cargo bay visible as it docks with the International Space Station, Atlantis is photographed during the STS-132 mission's first spacewalk on May 18.
With its cabin and open cargo bay visible as it docks with the International Space Station, Atlantis is photographed during the STS-132 mission's first spacewalk on May 18. NASA

With part of the space station and the blue and white of Earth visible in the reflection of his visor, astronaut Garrett Reisman takes a self portrait during mission STS-132's first spacewalk on May 18.
With part of the space station and the blue and white of Earth visible in the reflection of his visor, astronaut Garrett Reisman takes a self portrait during mission STS-132's first spacewalk on May 18. NASA

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About the author

James Martin is the staff photographer at CNET News, covering the geeks and gadgets of Silicon Valley. When he's not live-blogging the latest product launches from Apple, Google, or Facebook, James can be found exploring NASA, probing robotics labs, and getting behind-the-scenes with some of the Bay Area's most innovative thinkers.

 

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