atlantis The space shuttle Atlantis blasted off without a hitch this afternoon from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This launch represents the last mission for the orbiter as NASA moves to scrap the space shuttle program, despite the cranky ramblings of NBC space correspondent Jay Barbree, who kept popping up on MSNBC all afternoon to remind each successive host that Atlantis could still be used in an emergency operation. Let it go already Jay!

Photo: Lance Ulanoff