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Space shuttle Atlantis makes historic final landing

Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Space Shuttle Atlantis lands at Kennedy Space Center on July 21 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, ending the 30 year shuttle program.

msnbc.com's Alan Boyle reports from CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.:

The space shuttle Atlantis touched down before dawn on Thursday, marking the sunset of NASA's 30-year space shuttle program.

Landing came right on time at 5:56 a.m. ET, less than an hour before sunrise at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where NASA's last operating shuttle will make its home in retirement. The weather was perfect for landing — "severe clear," in the words of mission commentator Rob Navias. Continue reading.

The space shuttle Atlantis lands at Kennedy Space Center, marking the end of NASA's 30-year space shuttle program. NBC's Tom Costello reports.