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The Space Shuttle

Between the first launch on April 12, 1981, and the final landing on July 21, 2011, NASA's space shuttle fleet(Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour) flew a grand total of 135 missions, greatly contributed to the construction of the International Space Station, and inspired generations.

NASA's space shuttle fleet began setting records with its first launch on April 12, 1981, and continued to set high marks of achievement through their 30 years of missions. Starting with Columbia and continuing with Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour, the spacecraft has not only carried people into orbit repeatedly but has also launched, recovered and repaired satellites, conducted cutting-edge research, and built the largest structure in space, the International Space Station. The final space shuttle mission, STS-135, ended July 21, 2011, when Atlantis rolled to a stop at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, its new and final home. 

As humanity's first reusable spacecraft, the space shuttle pushed the bounds of discovery farther than they ever had before, requiring not only advanced technologies but also tremendous effort. Thousands of civil servants and contractors throughout NASA's field centers and across the nation have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to mission success and the greater goal of space exploration. 

On April 12, 2011, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced the facilities where four shuttle orbiters will be displayed permanently at the conclusion of the Space Shuttle Program.

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