Atlantis lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Friday morning in NASA’s 135th and final space shuttle launch. Atlantis is due to return July 20, the 42nd anniversary of man’s first steps on the moon. (John Raoux/ ASSOCIATED PRESS )

“Light this fire one more time”

Posted: 07/08/2011 11:02:56 PM PDT

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – With a cry from its commander to “light this fire one more time,” the last shuttle thundered into orbit Friday on a cargo run that will close out three decades of both triumph and tragedy for NASA and usher in a period of uncertainty for America’s space program.

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