Hettie Lynne Hurtes |

Space Shuttle Program Nearing an End

Space shuttle Atlantis is on its way to orbit for the last time. Atlantis and a crew of six blasted off this
afternoon from Cape Canaveral. More than 40,000 spectators gathered at the launch site, all eager to catch one of the few remaining shuttle flights....the biggest launch-day crowd in years.

There are only two shuttle flights left after this. Discovery is due to fly in September, followed by Endeavour in November. The fleet is being retired so NASA can pursue more ambitious exploration.

Atlantis is en route to the International Space Station. It's expected to get there on Sunday.