Atlantis Space Shuttle Atlantis Space Shuttle

The space shuttle Atlantis took off one last time Friday, launching into the sky on NASA's 135th and final space shuttle mission.

"On behalf of the greatest team in the world, good luck to you and your crew on the final flight of this true American icon," shuttle launch director Mike Leinbach told the astronauts before launch. "And so for the final time ... good luck, Godspeed and have a little fun up there."

Atlantis took off at 11:29 a.m. from the Kennedy Space Center before 750,000 to 1 million people who turned out to witness the historic event.

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Atlantis' four-person crew is headed to the International Space Station to deliver a year's worth of supplies and spare parts to the orbiting lab. They are scheduled to return on July 20 after 12 days. The trip is Atlantis' 33rd mission in 26 years.NASA's first space shuttle flight was on April 12, 1981. Over the past three decades, the program has enjoyed highs (the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station) and lows (the 1986 Challenger and 2003 Columbia tragedies). The missions also haven't come cheap: Although NASA once estimated they could cost as little as $20 million, they've totaled $1.6 billion each.After it returns, Atlantis will be put on display at the Kennedy Space Center.Watch the final launch below: