On July 22, 2011, there was a huge crowd welcoming home the STS-135 astronauts and celebrating their successful 13 day mission on Space Shuttle Atlantis at the final shuttle crew return ceremony at Ellington Airport. NASA’s final flight on Space Shuttle Atlantis ended its own 33-flight career and closed out the 30-year, 135-flight Space Shuttle Program.
The STS-135 crew members are Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley and Mission Specialists Sandra Magnus and Rex Walheim.
The speakers during the crew return ceremony were Johnson Space Center director Mike Coats, United States Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and Mayor Annise Parker.
Space Shuttle Atlantis carried the Raffaello multipurpose logistics module to deliver supplies, logistics and spare parts to the International Space Station. The mission also flew a system to investigate the potential for robotically refueling existing spacecraft and returned a failed ammonia pump module to help NASA better understand the failure mechanism and improve pump designs for future systems.