| 21.2°C Dublin

Video: They're home... Space shuttle Atlantis touches down

Close

The Space Shuttle Atlantis lands at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photo: AP

The Space Shuttle Atlantis lands at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photo: AP

The Space Shuttle Atlantis lands at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photo: AP

The space Shuttke Atlantis is back on Earth, and the shuttle era is over.

Atlantis and its four astronauts glided through the twilight today and landed in Florida shortly before sunrise.

Hundreds gathered near the runway to welcome Atlantis home — and to bid Nasa's 30-year space shuttle programme goodbye.

Atlantis' successful space station restocking mission closed out the shuttle era.

This was a true homecoming for Atlantis. The next-to-youngest shuttle will remain at Kennedy Space Centre and be put on display.

Nasa's next stop with astronauts will be an asteroid, then Mars. Private companies will take over trips to the International Space Station.