Space Shuttle Discovery lifts-off from Kennedy Space Center on July 4, 2006 with the crew of mission STS-121.
Rocket's Red Glare
NASA's space shuttles are icons of American spaceflight, but the storied space planes retired for good after one final mission in July 2011.
The shuttle Atlantis is launched NASA's final shuttle mission, called STS-135, on July 8 at 11:26 a.m. EDT (1526 GMT) from the agency's Kennedy Space Center spaceport in Florida. Atlantis flew a 12-day mission to the International Space Station to deliver spare parts and supplies. It was the 135th and last mission for the shuttle fleet since flights began in 1981.
Here's a look at five of the most patriotic shuttle missions ever flown:
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