NASA employees and supporters fill the hangar at Ellington Field in Houston, welcoming the crew of STS-135. Crew members Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, Specialist Rex Walheim, and Specialist Sandy Magnus, served over 12 hours in flight aboard the orbiter Atlantis, NASA's final shuttle mission.

NASA employees and supporters fill the hangar at Ellington Field in Houston, welcoming the crew of STS-135. Crew members Commander Chris Ferguson, Pilot Doug Hurley, Specialist Rex Walheim, and Specialist Sandy Magnus, served over 12 hours in flight aboard the orbiter Atlantis, NASA's final shuttle mission.

Will Weaver, 5, sits atop his dad's shoulders to catch a peek at the returning crew of STS-135. With over 12 days in orbit aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, the mission marked the end of over 30 years of NASA's shuttle program.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson greets audience members at the STS-135 welcome home ceremony at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston. Aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, STS-135 was the final NASA Shuttle mission, bridging over 50 year of manned space flight.


Marie Moreau of Orange, TX, has a rubber chicken signed by STS-135 pilot Doug Hurley. Moreau has been having crew members sign a collection of rubber chickens since the first flight of space shuttle Endeavour, STS-49 in 1992, while she was teaching 8th grade. The chicken gag grew out of a comment Moreau had passed on to Mission Specialist Pierre Thuot. After failed attempts to capture the satellite, "Intelsat VI,"  Moreau remarked, "Don't let them call you chicken!"  STS-135, aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, was the last mission of the U.S. Shuttle Program, with over 30 years in manned orbit and flight.