<p>Astronauts onboard the International Space Station snapped this shot of the <a id="e:i6" title="space shuttle" href="http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/shuttle/shuttlemissions/index.html">space shuttle</a> <em>Atlantis</em> as it executed a backflip on Sunday. The acrobatic feat allowed the ISS crew to check for damage before the shuttle docked with the orbiting outpost. <br><br> The shuttle's 12-day mission to the station most likely marks the last time <em>Atlantis</em> will be in orbit, as all space shuttles are slated to be retired by the end of 2010. (See <a id="vztt" title="pictures of Atlantis's final launch" href="http://blogs.nationalgeographic.com/blogs/news/breakingorbit/2010/05/space-shuttle-launch-coverage-2.html">pictures of <em>Atlantis'</em>s final launch</a>.)<br><br> So far astronauts have completed two spacewalks to install new batteries and tighten bolts on the outside of the ISS. The shuttle crew is also delivering a new cargo module and a Russian-built mini research module.</p>

Shuttle Flip

Astronauts onboard the International Space Station snapped this shot of the space shuttle Atlantis as it executed a backflip on Sunday. The acrobatic feat allowed the ISS crew to check for damage before the shuttle docked with the orbiting outpost.

The shuttle's 12-day mission to the station most likely marks the last time Atlantis will be in orbit, as all space shuttles are slated to be retired by the end of 2010. (See pictures of Atlantis's final launch.)

So far astronauts have completed two spacewalks to install new batteries and tighten bolts on the outside of the ISS. The shuttle crew is also delivering a new cargo module and a Russian-built mini research module.

Photograph courtesy NASA

Space Photos This Week: Full Moon, Shuttle Docks, More

Atlantis does a backflip, an orange moon looms over Germany, a satellite tracks Chinese dust, and more in the week's best space pictures.

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