CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.—The crew of the last space shuttle has floated out of the International Space Station, forever.
Before disappearing into Atlantis on Monday morning, commander Christopher Ferguson presented a pair of commemorative items to the space station fliers.
First, Ferguson handed over a model of the space shuttle. He says he wishes he could have brought up a monument to mark the end of the 30-year shuttle program, but it wouldn’t fit.
Then the skipper gave the station residents a small U.S. flag that flew aboard Columbia on the very first shuttle mission in 1981. The flag will return to Earth when Americans are launched again from U.S. soil, aboard commercially developed craft.
Atlantis will undock early Tuesday. Landing is targeted for early Thursday.