Atlantis_blasting_off_crop

Wow! If you’ve never seen a space shuttle launch I suggest you do so. There’s only six missions left before they scrub the shuttle program altogether and between the brilliance of the fire spewing out of the booster rockets, plumes of smoke and bone-rattling rumblings, it’s quite impressive—even for the non-geeky mindset. Here’s a view of Atlantis blasting off from the Kennedy Space Center today for its last and final mission, STS-129, which has something to do with bringing spare parts to the International Space Station.