U.S. astronaut Sandra Magnus participates in a fit check of her Russian Sokol spacesuit in Moscow on March 29. Magnus was a mission specialist for STS-135, the final flight of the space shuttle Atlantis. The shuttle's successful landing today at 5:57 a.m. ET wrapped up the very last mission of the U.S. space shuttle program.
During the 13-day mission, Magnus and her three crewmates delivered supplies and spare parts to the International Space Station, ran an experiment for robotically refueling spacecraft, and retrieved a failed ammonia pump module. Each of the shuttle astronauts had to be fitted for a Russian spacesuit in case they needed to evacuate the station via a Soyuz capsule.
"Every vehicle has its life," Magnus said in a Reuters interview shortly after landing. "We've known the shuttle is going to retire for a very long time."
Still, she added, "it's hard to say goodbye. It's like saying goodbye to an old friend."