The Seattle Times

ANITA BARRETT / NASA
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Saturday, July 2, 2011

After final shuttle, NASA must return to Earth

Above, the space shuttle Columbia illuminates a cloud during liftoff at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., in 2002. When the Atlantis lifts off Friday on the last space-shuttle flight, NASA will enter a cloudy future without a specific destination and a history of being underfunded.