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'God Bless America': Atlantis prepares to return home

Patriotic wake-up call on last day of shuttle programme

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The cargo bay doors on space shuttle Atlantis have been closed ahead of a planned return to Kennedy Space Center this morning.

The wake-up call for the emotional last day of the space shuttle programme was God Bless America, interpreted by Kate Smith and dedicated to all those who'd contributed over the last 30 years. Commander Chris Ferguson said: "What a classic, patriotic song, so appropriate for what will likely be the shuttle's final day in orbit, and thank you to America for supporting this programme and we'll see you on the ground in a few short hours."

Atlantis' final deorbit burn will come at 08:49 GMT, with touch-down expected at 09:56 GMT. NASA TV has live coverage of the landing here. ®

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