FINAL LANDING: Space shuttle Atlantis is seen in this still from a video camera on the exterior of the International Space Station after the two spacecraft undocked on July 19, 2011, during the final shuttle mission STS-135. It was the last time a NASA shuttle cast off from the orbiting lab. Image: NASA TV
NASA's space shuttles have racked up an amazing set of accomplishments over the last 30 years, not to mention the miles and statistics. But after three decades and 135 flights, the era of the NASA space shuttle is at an end.
The final shuttle flight, NASA's STS-135 mission aboard Atlantis, will land Thursday (July 21) to cap a 13-day trip that delivered supplies and spare parts to the International Space Station. [Photos: Shuttle Bids Farewell to Space Station]
With NASA's reusable space plane fleet retiring, here is a by-the-numbers look at the iconic 30-year spaceflight icon:
$209 Billion: The estimated total cost of NASA's 30-year space shuttle program from development through its retirement.
3,513,638: The weight in pounds of cargo that NASA's space shuttles have launched into orbit. That's more than half the payload weight of every single space launch in history since 1957 combined.
229,132: The amount of cargo (in pounds) that NASA's shuttles have returned to Earth from space through 2010.
98,728.5: The number of man-hours NASA shuttles spent in space during their 30-year history. That's about 8,280 days of manned spaceflight, NASA officials said.
20,830: The number of orbits of Earth completed by NASA shuttles before the last 13-day mission of Atlantis during the STS-135 flight. Atlantis will add another 200 orbits to that tally.
3,000: The scorching hot temperatures (in Fahrenheit) experienced by NASA shuttles in the hottest moments of atmospheric re-entry during landing.
1,323: Number of days in space spent during NASA shuttle flights between April 1981 and July 2011. That includes the 13 days of the final shuttle flight, as well as the other 31,440 hours, 59 minutes and 33 seconds of all 134 other missions.
833: The total number of crewmembers of all 135 space shuttle missions, with some individuals riding multiple times and 14 astronauts killed during the Challenger and Columbia accidents.
789: The number of astronauts and cosmonauts who have returned to Earth on a NASA shuttle. Some spaceflyers actually launched into orbit on Russian Soyuz vehicles and returned home on a shuttle.
355: The actual number of individual astronauts and cosmonauts who have flown on the space shuttle. That breaks down to 306 men and 49 women hailing from 16 different countries.
234: The total number of days space shuttle astronauts spent at the International Space Station between 1998 and 2011, the construction phase of the orbiting laboratory.
180: The total number of satellites and other payloads, including components for the International Space Station, deployed by NASA space shuttles.
135: Total number of NASA space shuttle missions that will have flown between 1981 and 2011. NASA added the prefix of "STS" (Space Transportation System) to each shuttle mission. Of the 135 missions, 133 flights went as planned, with two ending in disaster. [Most Memorable Shuttle Missions]
52: The total number of satellites, space station components and other payloads returned from orbit on NASA shuttle missions.
37: The number of times a NASA shuttle has docked at the International Space Station during the outpost's lifetime.